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Corona-coaster slashes $8.2 billion from tourism spend

Friday 06, Nov 2020

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) data released today shows that $8.2 billion was wiped from Victoria’s domestic tourism spend in the period January to August 2020, compared to the same period last year.

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council CEO, Felicia Mariani, said TRA’s National Visitor Survey indicated the tourism and events industry would feel reverberations from the COVID-19 crisis for years to come.

“Today’s figures show that Victoria has suffered a 91% drop in domestic visitors from August 2019 to August 2020 as a consequence of Lockdown2.0,” Ms Mariani said.

“Victoria’s visitor spend took a 96% hammering, falling $1.3 billion compared to August last year.”

The TRA data reveals the dramatic impact the second wave has had in Victoria compared to other states, which began trading out of the crisis from June when restrictions were easing in the rest of the country.

“Thanks to the double-whammy of bushfires and Coronavirus, Victoria recorded $6 billion in losses to domestic overnight spend in the state and a further loss of $2.2 billion in spend from daytrips for the period from January to August 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019,” Ms Mariani said.

Victoria experienced the deepest decline in domestic overnight spend, down by 49%, compared to a 40% decline in New South Wales, a 34% drop in Queensland, and a 20% fall in South Australia.

VTIC projects an even greater disparity in Victoria’s performance against national competitors when the September data is released next month, with the state still in the grip of restrictions.

“This data highlights the need to get our industry open and operating. While it will be great to see the ‘ring of steel’ finally lifted from midnight on 8 November, the easing of restrictions to be announced by the Premier on Sunday needs to provide major consideration to the tourism and
events industry.

“While accommodation, hospitality and retail have been the early beneficiaries of eased restrictions, large parts of our industry are still waiting. The state’s indoor attractions and events sectors have been decimated and, to date, have not been consulted on a pathway to recovery. Restrictions applied to our tour and transport sector are too onerous, preventing many from operating their experiences.

“We must see an immediate focus on getting these parts of our industry reactivated so the state’s visitor economy can fully commence its road to recovery,” Ms Mariani concluded.