Events and tourism industry get behind vaccination push

Events and tourism bodies are among many industry groups getting behind a push to reach the government’s vaccination targets.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) and Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) have both endorsed a rapid push for community vaccination, saying it will give a much need boost to both sectors.

The Federal Government’s 4-step plan out of Covid is based almost entirely on vaccination targets, with BECA calling on the business events industry to #GiveBEaShot in order to get to the next stage.

“Prior to the recent lockdowns, our industry was clearly demonstrating how business events could be held safely, effectively and in compliance with state-based health protocols across the country,” said Geoff Donaghy, BECA Deputy Chair.

“The nature of these highly organised and structured events, delegate behaviours, controlled settings, and the contact tracing frameworks we have in place sets us apart from mass gatherings.”

ATEC has also said that mass vaccinations are the only way to help the tourism sector recover from the effects of continued lockdowns and border closures.

“Tourism businesses are uniquely affected by metropolitan lockdowns as they don’t need to be in Sydney or Melbourne to have their business wiped out,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said.

“From the Northern Territory to Tasmania, North Queensland to the Kimberleys, the tourism industry has once again been hit with another disaster which has seen the loss of another peak season income opportunity.

“Australian tourism businesses are not only suffering from the ongoing loss of international visitors, they are battling a consistently shifting domestic travel environment where people are losing confidence in their ability to go anywhere.”

Shelley said the only way Australians can reclaim their ability to plan and travel is to get behind the vaccine.

“We recently reached out to our members to check how they were managing vaccinations and found most staff have already been vaccinated with many businesses offering time off for their staff to get their jab,” he said.

“Without mass vaccinations, both domestic and internationally focused tourism businesses, worth more than $150bn to our economy annually, will continue to be victims to stop-start border closures and localised COVID outbreaks.

“The only way we can have some certainty for our industry, is to support the vaccination roll out to help protect our community and reopen our economy.”

BECA has also announced it has deepened its communication channels with government by formalising its relationship with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry through membership.