Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, is calling on the citizens of Barker to do their patriotic duty and book a holiday as part of the Coalition Government’s support package for the tourism sector.


The Morrison Government is funding 800,000 half-price airfares to encourage Australians to take a holiday this year and support local hotels, restaurants, bars, caravan parks and tourism operators.


The new $1.2 billion tourism and aviation support package will also provide low interest loans to small businesses, and additional support for airlines, airports and ground-handling companies to maintain jobs and capacity.


Tourism is worth $100 billion to the Australian economy and employs around 611,000 people.


“Our Government has supported the tourism sector through JobKeeper as well as targeted support programs, like the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund,” Mr Pasin said.


“As we enter the next stage of our recovery, with confidence improving as the vaccine rolls out, our new support package will give tourism operators, regional businesses and airlines a real boost by sending Australians to the regions on holiday.


“We can support our world-leading tourism and aviation sectors by booking a holiday this year through a travel agent, flying to a tourist destination, and enjoying a well-earned holiday.


“While international borders remain closed, we want Australians to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities to holiday here in Australia and in the process to support a local job and a local business.


“The discounted flights will be available through travel agents or directly from the airline’s website from 1 April.”


The half-price ticket program will initially operate to 18 key regions including; the Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Darwin, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Hobart, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.


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


Other new measures to support the tourism and aviation sector include:

  • Support for a range of key routes to ensure passenger and freight/cargo movement.
  • New international aviation support to help Australia’s two international passenger airlines maintain more than 8,000 core international aviation jobs.
  • Support to cover the cost of ground handlers maintaining their mandatory training, certification and accreditation.
  • Support for airports to cover the cost of providing security.
  • SME Recovery Loan Scheme will benefit from an increased Government guarantee to encourage more banks to support small businesses. The expanded scheme will also increase the size of eligible loans to $5 million.
  • Extension of International Freight Assistance Mechanism program that provides flights to ensure Australian producers can deliver their products to international customers.
  • Extension of Business Events Grants program covering up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating business events during the 2021 calendar year.
  • Extension of support to zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks to maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by travel and social distancing restrictions.
  • Extension of support to travel agents via the Consumer Travel Support Program.


Media Contact: Anna Hawkins 8724 7730