News, media releases

Devastated tourism and hospitality industry given new lease on life under Labor’s Jobs Plan

  • $5 million Reimagined Events Fund to help industry back on its feet
  • $20 million in upgrades for parks and natural attractions
  • Free TAFE policy will provide hospitality training

Tasmania’s devastated tourism, hospitality and arts sectors will be given the opportunity to rise from the COVID crisis with a significant package of incentives under a re-elected Labor Government.

Shadow Tourism Minister Rebecca White said the industry, which is critical to Tasmania, has been crushed by border closures and ongoing COVID restrictions.

Ms White said Labor’s Working for Tasmania jobs plan will reconnect people with venues, events and places, fund important infrastructure upgrades and invest in training that will deliver the workforce needed in recovery.

“Tourism, hospitality and arts industries are facing the peril of three winters,” Ms White said.

“Many businesses rely on the increased summer trade to get them through the lean winter period, but with international flights suspended and many major events cancelled, this summer will be a challenge.

“Labor’s plan will protect jobs in tourism, hospitality and the arts to get through to next summer.

“Nearly 3,500 jobs have been lost in the tourism and hospitality sector, including more than 700 in the past month and the industry continues to go backwards because the government just isn’t doing enough.

“The industry faces chronic skill shortages that put a handbrake on growth but Labor’s Free TAFE policy will provide free training for people wanting to work in these sectors.

“Labor’s broader plan to rebuild TAFE will also make training more accessible in regional areas and more responsive to industry needs.”

Labor’s major initiatives to support the crucial tourism industry include:

  • A $5 million Reimagined Events Fund to support events and festivals adapt to the challenges post-COVID, possibly operating events across multiple smaller sites and  running smaller, more premium events
  • An offer to underwrite insurance costs of up to $10,000 for events from Symphony Under the Stars to Festivale to Agfest
  • Providing $2 million to enable Business Events Tasmania to aggressively market the state as a business event destination for conferences and business events
  • Redirecting funding for unclaimed Make Yourself at Home vouchers for use in restaurants and other food and dining businesses
  • Setting aside $5 million for contingency support grants for businesses addressing fee waivers, bill relief and other assistance as need arises
  • Getting tourist rail back on track with $500,000 to fund public liability insurance for rail operators over four years
  • Boosting the Digital Ready Program, with additional funding of $100,000 to help tourism and hospitality businesses build an online presence
  • Upgrading facilities in Tasmania’s parks and natural attractions with $20 million for infrastructure upgrades, supporting up to 200 jobs in construction industries

Rebecca White MP  
Shadow Tourism Minister