Aus announces additional $44mn to boost tourism
Canberra, March 22 (GURPUNEET SIDHU):- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday announced an additional A$60 million ($44 million) in funding aimed at luring international visitors back to the country following two years of Covid-related border closures.
Of the funding, A$45 million will be spent on a Tourism Australia marketing campaign for regional destinations hit hardest by the loss of international tourism, with the remaining A$15 million to go towards promoting the iconic Great Barrier Reef, reports Xinhua news agency.
Australia’s borders reopened to fully vaccinated international tourists on February 21 about 700 days after they were closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The return of our international tourism market will support hundreds of thousands of tourism jobs, strengthen our economy,” Morrison said in a statement.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the 2020-21 financial year, tourism gross domestic product (GDP) fell 37.9 per cent in chain volume terms, the contribution of which to the country’s total GDP fell from 2.6 per cent to 1.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, persons employed in the sector decreased by 20.3 per cent to 507,000 people.
Due to border closures, the number of international arrivals in Australia fell from about 8.7 million in 2019 to 245,770 in 2021.
Dan Tehan, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, flagged further future support for the industry.
Australia on Tuesday reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 cases and 20 deaths.