The federal tourism minister insists that holiday-makers will help get the tourism industry back on its feet once the Job Keeper payments come to an end.
“Put your hand in your pocket – don’t be a penny pincher – and spend like you would overseas and really help and support our tourism industry,” Minister Dan Tehan told ABC this morning.
It now seems more and more unlikely that there will be further support in the form of Job Keeper, once the subsidy finally comes to an end in April.
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The federal government is now putting its faith behind domestic tourism to get the industry back on its feet, by subsiding 800,000 flights from April through to August.
But regional Queensland areas, including Cairns and the Gold Coast, are concerned that it just won’t be enough to support their businesses.
NewsCorp reports that figures from the Australian Tax Office show that 172,000 Queenslanders are still receiving Job Keeper payments.
When that ends next month, around $83 million will be lost from the state economy each week.
While interest in Queensland holidays has spiked, businesses know that domestic tourism can hardly begin to repair the damage done by the international borders.
However, Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan insists the government’s $1.2 billion package will go far enough, encouraging those who take up the half-price flights to just ‘spend like you would overseas’.
“We’re trying to save all the jobs in the tourism industry, that’s why we announced the package last week,” he told the ABC.
“Some airlines have seen a 40 per cent spike in bookings.
“You get your discount airfare, you go to a destination, you have the confidence to travel, you spend in the pub, you stay overnight, you visit one of the wonderful attractions that we have right across this nation.
“This is about getting people moving, this is about putting confidence in people to book those airline tickets and get travelling again, and we’ve seen it happen.
“We’ve seen consumers vote with their feet last week, and that’s before the discount fares have even rolled out which will start at the beginning of April.
“Do your patriotic duty and book that fare, take that trip, visit a tourism destination, spend money like you would overseas, put your hand in your pocket – don’t be a penny pincher – and spend like you would overseas and really help and support our tourism industry.
“That is the best way we can support jobs in the tourism industry right across this nation,” Minister Tehan said.