As news of an impending support package for the tourism and hospitality sectors is welcomed, industry pundits don’t have high expectations for what that package will be.
The government has put the kybosh on another economy-wide wage subsidy, instead reportedly considering some form of aviation support and interest-free or other favourable business loans for tourism industry employers.
“That’s not going to be enough due to the horrendous operating environment we’re in,” Accor Hotels Australasia chief executive Simon McGrath told the Australian Financial Review.
“Strong social distancing rules are still in place within the community; the vaccine rollout remains in its infant stages; our international border is still slammed shut, and local consumer confidence has been rocked by ongoing rolling state border closures.
“Until those four blockages are removed, the industry is in dire trouble.”
The boss of Australia’s biggest hotel chain is predicting a lack of real, direct support will result in “extraordinary job losses”.
Without an extension to Jobkeeper, research from the Australian Federation of Travel Agents has revealed that eight in ten people working in travel and tourism will be out of a job and three in ten businesses will be forced to close.
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