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The McGowan government’s financial assistance to industries affected by the delay in reopening its borders is good news for the tourism industry, the leading WA tourism body said, although it said that an opening date was essential for the state.
The WA Tourism Board felt it “provides money they need most when they need it most”, calling it important for businesses suffering from WA’s COVID-19 restrictions .
“This is really good news for the tourism industry,” CEO Evan Hall told WAMN News.
“These tourism businesses that rely on international and interstate customers have been hit hard over the past two years, and other businesses have really suffered a huge loss of bookings when the border opening was delayed.
“It is therefore absolutely essential for the companies that have suffered the most from the COVID restrictions.”
Mr Hall said it would help businesses stay open.
“We’ve seen a lot of businesses close, they’ve closed for the season or they’ve closed permanently with businesses putting their homes up for sale or mortgaging their own homes and retirement funds just to run the business or pay off the deposits,” he said.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the $77 million in funding Thursday, which would support businesses affected by the government’s decision to delay reopening its border.
Funding would go to companies and organizations involved in the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.
Despite the favorable reception to funding, Mr Hall said a reopening date was vital for WA Industries.
“$77 million will never come close to what has been lost by events and by the academic and education sector and by the tourism industry,” he said.
“(But) without an appointment, you just don’t know whether or not you should stay open and how long to wait. This is why a date is essential.