Governments urged to work with tourism on restrictions

09 May 2020 |

At a meeting today of the Australian Chamber – Tourism’s Tourism Restart Taskforce, tourism leaders supported the planned approach by National Cabinet of a timetable out of the COVID-19 restrictions, including the staged opening of travel, to facilitate industry preparedness.

Chair of the Taskforce Dr Jeremy Johnson AM said: “We urge State and Territory Governments to also adopt a staged approach, but encourage them, subject to health advice, to work with industry to bring forward the timeframes and review some of the proposed restrictions.

“The announcements today will make it economically unviable for most hospitality businesses to open in Stages 1 and 2, and very challenging in Stage 3.  This puts the ongoing financial viability of many tourism and hospitality businesses at risk due to the overlay of the restrictions on total numbers and rules such as 1 person per 4 square metres.

“Governments are also urged to consider the differences between structured activities such as business events and uncontrolled gatherings.

“In addition, the Taskforce encourages State and Territory Governments to reconsider their position on State border restrictions as these are a significant barrier to a return to domestic tourism.

“It is so important that we get as many as possible of the one million employees who rely on tourism back to work. The longer the State border restrictions and limitations on travel are in place, the more jobs, businesses and livelihoods will be lost.”

The Tourism Restart Taskforce noted the increased preparedness of tourism sectors with protocols and skills development taking place to ensure a safe restart could take place. The Taskforce noted the guidelines issued by Safe Work Australia as well as those being developed by Australian Chamber – Tourism to help guide tourism businesses using COVID Safe Tourism Guiding Principles.

The Tourism Restart Taskforce members include:

  • Dr Jeremy Johnson AM (Taskforce Chair) (ACCI Board, former CEO Sovereign Hill)
  • The Hon. Bruce Baird AM (Business Events Sydney, TTF)
  • Sarina Bratton AM (Ponant)
  • Geoff Donaghy (BECA, ASM Global, ICC Sydney)
  • Bob East (Tourism Australia)
  • The Hon. Martin Ferguson AM (Tourist Accommodation Australia)
  • Nikki Govan (Star of Greece)
  • Denis Pierce (Australian Tourism Export Council)
  • Graham (Skroo) Turner (Flight Centre)
  • Jacqui Walshe (The Walshe Group)
  • John Hart (Australian Chamber – Tourism)

John Hart | Executive Chair, Australian Chamber – Tourism

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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