Tourism Funding Package an Important Step Towards Recovery
Tourism is a very significant contributor to the Australian economy and is particularly important in many local, regional economies, like those that have been hit hard by bushfires this summer.
Communities, local businesses, tourism operators and industry organisations have all been calling for more, urgent support to deal with the impact of the fires, which has seen visitor numbers tumble.
Bushfire-impacted regions have reported cancellation rates as high as 100 per cent and even un-impacted areas have experienced cancellations of up to 60 per cent.
Industry bodies say a very large proportion of these cancellations are from Australians choosing not to travel within Australia during this fire-ravaged summer.
So it is extremely important that this package includes funding for domestic tourism marketing, to encourage people to explore the almost endless number of amazing destinations across our country that despite the fires are accessible, open for business and desperately need visitors to keep coming.
Tourism is going to be a crucial part of the ongoing recovery and rebuilding of these communities.
But these businesses also need help right now.
Many small businesses in bushfire-affected regions are still standing, but their takings are way down and they are facing an uncertain future.
Unfortunately, these businesses and their workers are currently excluded from assistance by the Federal Government’s guidelines.
We need to see immediate assistance provided to businesses and workers that have been impacted by the bushfires.
This must be done in partnership with this tourism campaign.
It’s imperative that Aussies continue to visit our great Australian tourist destinations including bushfire-impacted regions, when it is safe.
Funding for an international campaign, which will help ensure visitors from overseas know that Australia is ready to welcome them, is also an important step towards the recovery of the tourism sector and the local communities it supports.
Labor will continue to work with the tourism sector and with local communities to ensure they get the support they need to overcome the losses caused by the bushfire crisis.
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