Source: The Courier Mail – Matthew Killoran
One in five Queensland youth tourism businesses expect to close when JobKeeper ends, while more than 60 per cent say their future is uncertain the results of a shocking survey have found.
Just 13 per cent of the 100 businesses surveyed in the state said they were confident of remaining open when the wage subsidy is switched off at the end of the month, as the industry calls for a road map to reopen international borders.
Job losses in the industry are also expected to be widespread, according to the survey done by the Backpackers and Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP), whose members include operators in accommodation, experiences, attractions and tour operators.
Nationally, they found 37 per cent of regional operators and 40 per cent of urban operators surveyed expected to lay off all their staff after JobKeeper ends.
BYTAP spokesman Brendan McKenna said the $3.2 billion sector was heavily reliant on international tourism and it was impractical for many of the businesses to pivot to domestic visitors.
He said the Federal Government should provide details on when and how international borders would reopen, and factors like vaccination rates at home and abroad which would trigger the loosening of restrictions.
“We need a road map and we need it soon,” Mr McKenna said.
“We can’t keep getting loans without knowing the way out.
“Banks won’t lend if there’s no finite end to when international borders will reopen.”
Mr McKenna said it wasn’t the number of businesses that expected to close when JobKeeper ended which surprised him, but the number that were uncertain about their future.
“There will be a lot of decisions made in the next few days as businesses make calls on what to do,” he said.