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Export Tourism Industry asks #whereistheplan?

June 23, 2021 Coronavirus (Covid-19) No Comments

As Australia’s export tourism industry heads into its second year of border closures, with no end in sight, grassroots tourism businesses are asking the Federal Government to provide clarity on what it believes are the necessary parameters of reopening.Recognising the importance of ensuring the Australian community remains safe, industry members from large multinational companies to small two person tourism operations, are seeking a framework by which they can make decisions and plans for the future of their businesses.

Over the past month, ATEC has visited its members across the country, hosting a series of industry Restart Roundtables as an important information gathering process which will help inform industry advocacy.

“The Restart Roundtables have provided us with some really raw and truthful feedback on how our tourism businesses are faring,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.

“As we move around the country we are seeing some clear patterns in the issues of concern and one of the main issues is defining our COVID exit strategy – people are asking, where is the plan?

“While many in our industry have invested in servicing the domestic tourism market in the interim, it is clear that this is a ‘stop-gap’ measure as they await the reopening of international borders. As domestic visitors simply do not stay as long or spend as much as international visitors, there is a strong need to establish clear framework for re-emergence.

“Tourism businesses across the country are looking to make decisions about their investments and in some instances, their future, and they desperately need clarity from the Government on what they see as being the key markers for reopening our borders.”

Mr Shelley said that with over 300 representatives engaged in the Restart Roundtables so far and the roadshow will continue over the coming month for the remaining regions but so far the key issues the industry were defining include:

  • International Border closures, how and when we will reopen, managing COVID and future international visitors, vaccination rates and which countries
  • Support for tourism businesses who can and can’t switch to domestic, new product development, loans, retaining large tourism assets, mental health and wellbeing
  • Workforce issues including labour and skills, loss of industry talent, retention of staff and regional staff shortages
  • Trade challenges including distribution, trade relationships and new domestic and international trading landscape, loss of product and secure payments
  • Confidence in travel for both consumer and trade

In representing the industry’s needs to the Government, ATEC is advocating for a Reopening Framework via the hashtag #whereistheplan. ATEC will present its findings from the Restart Roundtables to government, along with recommendations in a final report later this month.

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