Nearly a third of all tourism businesses expect they will have to lay off workers or close altogether when JobKeeper ends next month, according to a tourism industry survey.
The Tourism Industry Council of South Australia’s latest Tourism Barometer reveals there are grave concerns about the immediate future with ongoing COVID restrictions and the looming loss of JobKeeper.
Without JobKeeper 29% of tourism businesses are expected to shed staff or close their business. Responses included: “Not sure how much I can continue” and “JobKeeper is keeping us afloat”.
Recent statistics have revealed visitor expenditure in South Australia has fallen from a peak of $8.1 billion in late 2019 to $5.6 billion.
This follows the government’s lacklustre tourism voucher scheme, which has been besieged by problems, with half the vouchers in the most recent round going unused and many businesses are not eligible.
Quotes attributable to SA Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas
I am concerned we are on the cusp of more job losses across our tourism sector.
JobKeeper is set to go next month and tourism businesses are warning many jobs will go with it.
We cannot just let tourism businesses fall off a cliff next month.
The Marshall Liberal Government must step up with an expanded tourism voucher scheme and targeted support for our tourism businesses.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison
JobKeeper is the only thing keeping some businesses afloat and many people in work.
While the tourism voucher scheme has been welcome, the Marshall Liberal Government has made it too limited, meaning it hasn’t provided the full benefit to our tourism sector.
Nearly a third of tourism businesses have factored in a third round of the voucher scheme and are still issuing grave warnings of about their future.