Regional tourism industry calls for Federal Government leadership as the next crisis hits the regions

Skills and workforce shortages across regional Australia are restricting business recovery post easing of COVID restrictions, and the rebuilding of what was once an industry worth $138 billion, attributing to one in 12 jobs nationally, and closer to one in six jobs in some regions.
Australian Regional Tourism Chair, Coralie Bell said “the regional tourism industry has been calling on the Federal Government to address skills and workforce shortages in regions as a key National priority since 2017, warning that there will soon be a breaking point, we are furious that after so many years, we’re still having the same conversation!”.
“Regional Australia needs a National Framework to address skills and workforce shortages now. We have states reporting that some regions are expecting record numbers on the easing of COVID restrictions, while industry is reporting they can’t open their doors because they don’t have staff” said Mrs Bell.
“Let me be very clear. Our industry is facing the largest national skills and workforce shortage in living memory. This is not new. This was true before COVID and it remains so now, more than ever. Make no mistake, we may have visitors in some towns, but many businesses won’t have staff to serve them food or their clean rooms. This is real.  Without people in hospitality, service and tour delivery, we have no tourism industry”.
“Effective leadership is needed to pull states and territories together and face our way out of this pandemic as one country” said Ms Bell.
The regional tourism industry calls on the Federal Government to step up and deliver a National Framework to address skills and workforce shortages and enable business recovery.
About Australian Regional Tourism
Australian Regional Tourism (ART) is the peak national body representing regional tourism practitioners. ART acts as a hub for collaboration, cooperation, ideas generation, knowledge sharing, networking and so much more. On behalf of its members, ART advocates for sustainable regional development and amplifies key messages to government, other industries and industry sectors, researchers, educators and the public.