Tourism and aviation’s flight path to recovery

Australia’s airlines, hotels and caravan parks, restaurants and bars, travel agents and tourism operators are set for a rush of hundreds of thousands of tourists as part of a new $1.2 billion support package from the Morrison Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said while Australia’s economy had recovered 85 per cent of its fall from COVID-19, the next step in the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan would target the businesses, workers and regions still doing it tough.

The Prime Minister said the package’s mix of half-price airline tickets, cheap loans for businesses and direct support to keep planes in the air, and airline workers in their jobs, would be a bridge to a more normal way of life for Australians.

“This is our ticket to recovery – 800,000 half-price airfares to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to do it tough through COVID-19, while our international borders remain closed,” the Prime Minister said.

“This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard. That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.”

“Our tourism businesses don’t want to rely on government support forever. They want their tourists back. This package, combined with our vaccine roll-out which is gathering pace, is part of our National Economic Recovery Plan and the bridge that will help get them back to normal trading.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the measures would work hand-in-hand to boost interstate tourism and aviation in key regions significantly impacted by the loss of tourists.

“The new Tourism Aviation Network Support (TANS) Program will give Australians clear incentives to travel to key domestic tourism areas,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Discounts will be offered on tens of thousands of fares per week across an initial 13 key tourism regions.

“We’re working with airlines to increase the number of flights to these tourism areas – giving travellers the flexibility needed when organising dream holidays to destinations such as Tropical North Queensland and Kangaroo Island.

“In a big win for local communities, especially in regional Australia, we will continue to financially support flights which are so key to health services, employment opportunities and social activities.

“We’re also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need so that when tourism takes off again and our borders reopen, our airlines are ready to go.”

The half-price ticket program will initially operate to 13 key regions including; the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island. (Adelaide and Darwin have since been added).

Flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines.

The discounts will be off the average fare and will be available on airline websites from 1 April.

A factsheet on the program is available here.

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