Western Australian tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19 will soon be able to apply for funding support under a new joint Commonwealth-State program valued at up to $16.8 million.
Eligible tourism businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to assist with some of the financial impacts resulting from much of the country being under significant COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.
It is anticipated about 3,500 businesses will be eligible for funding support under the program - including tourism operators, accommodation providers and travel agents.
Applicants must demonstrate at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover by comparing the period 15 May - 25 June with 10 July – 20 August to be eligible for support.
The following funding amounts will be made available to eligible businesses:
- $2,000 grant for all sole traders and for employing businesses with an annual turnover between $50,000 and $100,000
- $5,000 grant for employing businesses with an annual turnover between $100,000 and $1 million
- $10,000 grant for employing businesses with an annual turnover between $1 million and $10 million
In order to be eligible, businesses must be:
- registered with Tourism WA as a previous grant recipient or as part of the agency’s marketing campaigns in 2020 or 2021; or
- a member of, or accredited through, a relevant tourism organisation (as of today); or
- a travel agent that has been offering domestic product to travellers.
Businesses must also have an active and valid ABN and be located in Western Australia.
While up to $16.8 million is available for the program, it is likely the amount expended will be less due to the strength of intrastate tourism in Western Australia.
Quotes attributable to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg:
“Tourism based businesses have been significantly impacted not only by closed international borders but also health restrictions affecting domestic travel.”
“This support will help to cushion the blow for these tourism businesses which have been impacted by lockdowns on the east coast.”
“The package builds on the $14 billion in economic support the Morrison Government has already delivered to WA households and businesses.”
Quotes attributable to Premier Mark McGowan:
“We have great sympathy for the WA tourism businesses being directly impacted by the terrible situation in the eastern states.”
“The continued acceleration of community spread in many parts of the country – particularly New South Wales – is now so severe it is having impacts on some WA tourism businesses.”
“Western Australia’s work to keep COVID-19 largely out of the community has kept the State safe and open – enabling our tourism sector to operate in a way much of the world has been unable to over the past 18 months and fuelling an intrastate visitation boom.”
“The Tourism Assistance Grants will provide targeted support to the Western Australian businesses which have become innocent victims of community spread over east, through no fault of their own.”
Quotes attributable to Federal Attorney General Michaelia Cash:
“We know that tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic and we want to make sure that these businesses are getting through the other side so they can continue to showcase our beautiful state.”
“This announcement is further proof that the Morrison Government has been there to financially support West Australians through this pandemic every step of the way.”
Quotes attributable to Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan:
“This is a very tough time for the Western Australian tourism industry with border closures and lockdowns restricting the ability of Australians and international visitors to travel.”
“This welcome support from the Australian and West Australian governments will provide financial support to help ensure the industry is ready to rebound as our nation eases restrictions as our vaccination rates hit key milestones.”
Quotes attributable to WA Tourism Minister David Templeman:
“COVID-19 has challenged WA’s tourism sector over the past 12 months – with the loss of international travel having unavoidable impacts on our businesses, accommodation providers and travel agents.”
“While there has been notable upside with the intrastate tourism boom, the severity of the current situation in the eastern states warrants this additional support for local businesses.”
“The joint Commonwealth-State Tourism Assistance Grants program, valued at up to $16.8 million, is the latest in a raft of support measures the McGowan Government has put in place over the past 18 months to support the sector through this unique and challenging time.”