Contingencies need to be set and tourism industry support continued, says Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond.
As soon as Australia began to look like it was getting on top of COVID mid-2020, it was apparent that the entire domestic tourism industry could not suffer every time there was an outbreak, or a cluster.
The Tourism News argued in July 2020: ‘Tourism limits survivable with orange zones
On 20 Dec 2020, and somewhat predictably, states were again forced to impose lockdowns.
Margy Osmond, CEO of The Tourism and Transport Forum, argued on RN Breakfast the day after that this cluster demonstrates exactly the need for a stoplight system in the event of outbreaks, in which certain areas are locked down, and harm is minimised to the wider industry and the market itself.
One saving grace, Osmond said, was that Christmas is a higher retail consumption period than it is tourism, as travellers visit friends and family, but this eleventh-hour Christmas cluster highlights the need for a stoplight system that might save the rest of the crucial summer season for tourism operators.
Ms Osmond also declared the plain need for JobKeeper to be extended past March 2021, since tourism would still be exposed to extreme elasticity into 2021, much more so than any other industry.
Summary by Veronica Hope, 21st Dec 2020