Today’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews is a shot to the heart for an industry that has been devastated by lockdown decisions taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC).
VTIC CEO, Felicia Mariani, said the industry was hemorrhaging, on track to lose $23 billion in visitor spending at a cost of 165,000 jobs.
“The industry has worked tirelessly to support the Government’s planning on their roadmap to reopening,” said Ms Mariani.
“Businesses large and small were hoping for a lifeline of income from the upcoming Grand Final and Melbourne Cup long weekends. These are peak periods that, yet again, the industry will lose.’’
“To see that this week, even as cases hit one and two per day, there is still no plan or firm date to reopen our industry is heartbreaking. We need clarity and direction now so we can plan and prepare.”
The industry has developed an alternate plan to activating that has carefully analysed the successful approaches in other states that have allowed them to open their tourism and events industry and to operate safely and effectively. This is all predicated on the industry having travel restrictions lifted by Friday 30 October.
“We need the Andrews Government to recognise and respect the work and effort the industry is putting into its CovidSafe planning and be given the chance to be a partner in revitalizing Victoria’s economy.”