New financial assistance is needed to sustain WA tourism businesses and jobs, as the latest industry survey reveals the WA tourism industry lost at least $130 million during the recent lockdown and increased restrictions.
Tourism Council WA is calling on the State Government and Opposition to pledge $50 million towards a support package for at-risk tourism businesses that have been severely impacted because of the recent COVID-19 lockdowns and interstate and regional travel restrictions.
The $50 million support for tourism businesses is the top priority in Tourism Council WA’s State Election 2021 Tourism Priorities, released today.
“Across the industry, the recent lockdown and regional travel restrictions have cost WA tourism businesses an average of $39,000 each, with small businesses such as sole traders losing $6,700 each,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.
“Many local tourism businesses are in dire straits from the recent lockdowns and need ongoing support to be able to continue, and it is imperative that they survive so that Western Australia can attract visitors when travel restrictions ease.
“We are calling on the State Government and Opposition to commit to a $50 million support package ahead of the State Election, which could include the waiving of land taxes, water rates, national park and transport licence fees, as well as providing direct financial support to the most affected businesses.”
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said around a third of tourism businesses were still on JobKeeper and would be forced to close or drastically reduce their staff due to ongoing border closures and travel restrictions.
Tourism Council WA’s other State Election 2021 Tourism Priorities include:
- Consistent funding of $110 million each year for Tourism WA.
- Additional funding of $50 million to recover aviation services.
- Additional funding of $50 million to attract and recover events.
- Delivery of public and private attractions via the State Infrastructure Strategy.
- Reforming government regulation and creating a fair environment for tourism businesses.