WA tourism sector calls for $50m support package

New financial assistance is needed to sustain WA tourism businesses and jobs, as the latest industry survey reveals the WA tourism industry lost at least $130 million during the recent lockdown and increased restrictions.

Around a third of tourism businesses were also still on JobKeeper and would be forced to close or drastically reduce their staff due to ongoing border closures and travel restrictions.

Tourism Council WA is calling on the McGowan Government and Opposition to pledge $50 million towards a support package for at-risk tourism businesses that have been severely impacted because of the recent COVID-19 lockdowns and interstate and regional travel restrictions.

“Across the industry, the recent lockdown and regional travel restrictions have cost WA tourism businesses an average of $39,000 each, with small businesses such as sole traders losing $6,700 each,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

“Many local tourism businesses are in dire straits from the recent lockdowns and need ongoing support to be able to continue, and it is imperative that they survive so that Western Australia can attract visitors when travel restrictions ease.

“We are calling on the State Government and Opposition to commit to a $50 million support package ahead of the State Election, which could include the waiving of land taxes, water rates, national park and transport licence fees, as well as providing direct financial support to the most affected businesses.”