Economists are saying that if you work in hospitality, tourism, or the events space, then Coronavirus will take a heavy toll on your business or wipe you out completely.
The Australian charter boat industry relies on all of these sectors for its survival and is one of the hardest hit industries in the country after a summer filled with disasters of Titanic proportions.
According to Daniel Da Silva, President of the Commercial Vessel Association, immediate help is needed, or Coronavirus will sink the charter boat industry completely.
“We are an industry that always seems to be forgotten about however this time we need to remember that charter boats play a crucial role in the economy, especially tourism and the $122 billion that it injects each year” said Mr Da Silva.
“I understand that all businesses are hurting but the Government has to realise that while Coronavirus is a right-now issue, this is the third major disaster in a row for our industry, with no time in between to recover.
“The industry has been hammered and with very few bookings and thousands of cancellations since Sydney Harbour was under a blanket of smoke in November and December.
“The financial impact from the smoke was followed by catastrophic fires through January and February, then rain and floods, and now Coronavirus is the nail in the coffin for many charter businesses” said Mr Da Silva.
The charter boat industry is a tough one at the best of times but ongoing disasters since last year has seen the entire industry struggle to keep its head above water.
Hundreds of small mum and dad businesses, large fleets, and even publicly listed companies make up the charter boat industry and none of them are immune.
The past few weeks has seen some of the biggest operators simply tie their boats to the wharf and leave them there, as thousands of staff have been stood down or been made redundant.
Being a seasonal industry, charter boats have a small window each year to make their money which makes retaining skilled workers a constant challenge, and with and an industry unable to operate, crew are certain to be lost to other industries.
“The charter boat industry is resilient and can bounce back, but we need to have an industry to bounce back to” said Mr Da Silva.
“If we don’t keep the captains and crew in the industry now, we will be decimated, and tourism will be one of the hardest hit sectors.
“We need government help beyond what has already been announced, we need grants to keep staff employed, to keep engines running, and to pay marina fees as the industry didn’t make enough money in summer to get us through this crisis” said Mr Da Silva.
The answer could be in the $1 billion set aside by Federal Government to support those that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, and in particular the tourism and hospitality industries.
If the charter boat businesses affected don’t get more help, Australia may lose the industry completely.
About Daniel Da Silva
Daniel is the President of the Commercial Vessel Association, the Public Officer for the Charter Boat Agents Association, is a commercial captain, and owns Any Boat, multiple charter boats, a yacht charter business, and a marina.
About The Commercial Vessel Association
The Commercial Vessel Association (CVA) is the commercial vessel industry advocate. The association acts as a bridge between industry and Government stakeholders to assist in issues that are important to it’s members and the industry as a whole.
The aim of the CVA is to help members stay informed on the topics that shape the trading environment and to share information and discuss issues as well as help support businesses by keeping them up to date with regulatory changes.
The CVA is the voice of the industry.
Daniel Da Silva is