Today’s tourism support package announcement from the Federal Government is a step in the right direction and will assist the caravan and camping industry as it continues to lead the recovery of Australia’s domestic visitor economy.
The Federal government has been clear from the start that JobKeeper would not be extended, and that wage subsidies would not form part of their economic recovery plans moving beyond March. Considering this, the national association has been strongly advocating to government on the need for future measures that drives demand and supports those businesses that through no fault of their own, continue to remain financially challenged.
We welcome today’s announcement for SME concessional loans which will be beneficial for those caravan park operators that remain financially impacted and will allow them to access cheaper finance to support their operational viability as well as to refinance pre-existing debt. While the expansion of the aviation package to subsidize domestic flights was also a welcome addition, which will see increased Fly Drive tourism benefiting RV rental companies and those caravan park operators more reliant on interstate and long-distance travellers.
Whilst we firmly believe the support package is a step in the right direction for our industry, we will continue to lobby government on the importance of dispersing tourists further to lesser known tourism regions as well as the need for a genuine long term strategy on the development of Australia’s tourism industry for which the caravan and camping sector is of significant importance.
SME Recovery Loan Scheme
The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme is designed to support businesses currently on JobKeeper to access cheaper credit and access additional funding:
- Loans must be approved between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2021
- Up to $5m 10 year loans with 24 month repayment holidays eligible to businesses that have been on JobKeeper between 4 January and 28 March
- An eligible loan under the Scheme can take any form of credit (including overdrafts, working capital and revolving facilities, leases or hire-purchase arrangements), with the exception of a credit, debit, charge card or business card facility. Loans may be used to refinance any pre-existing debt of an eligible borrower.
- Part of the Government’s commitment to support up to $40b in lending to SMEs
Find out more here.
Tourism Aviation Network Support
Aimed at increasing demand in regions that remain most impacted by the loss of international travel as well as low domestic confidence to travel long distances, the aviation network support will see government subside the cost of flights to 13 regions.
- The program will run from 1 April to 31 July.
- Increased number of flights to an initial 13 regions (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.
- 50 per cent discount on domestic fares – travel to and from the locations will be subsidised
- Demand driven number of tickets, and locations the flights will depart from, but estimated average of 46,000 discounted fares per week.
- Airfares can be booked from the 1st of April.
Additional Support and Expansion of Programs
In addition, the government announced further support for existing programs including:
- Business Events Grant Program
- International Aviation Support, which ensure Qantas and Virgin retain domestic and international capacity.
- Domestic and Regional Aviation Network Supports.
- Zoos and Aquarium Package.
- Consumer travel support program for travel agents and tour operators has been extended by three months.
For more information on the Government’s COVID-19 support for aviation click here.
For further information on the COVID-19 tourism support plan click here
For further information on the Small and Medium Enterprise Recovery Loan Scheme click here
Reach Out to Us
We, in conjunction with your individual State Association, continue to advocate strongly on behalf of industry. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Association or to your State Association if you have any queries or to raise a specific issue that you require to be addressed with Government.
Mental Health and Wellness
These are hard times for everyone. In addition to the business and economic support services, there are also a range of support services for your health and wellbeing. We encourage you, your families and employees to reach out these services for support.
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- beyondblue on 1300 224 636
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
QLife on 1800 184 527