Low-interest loans and cash grants going directly to tourism-related businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic will feature in an industry bailout to be unveiled by the Morrison government in days.

Before the $ 90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy program ends in three weeks, the government has nearly finalized elements of a special package that will include support for airlines, operators of mom-and-dad travel services and establishments. accommodation.

Tourist centers such as Cairns, the starting point of the Great Barrier Reef, have suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic. A special support package should be released in a few days.

The package, which is being piloted by new Tourism Minister Dan Tehan and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, is being rolled out because the sector has been so affected by the pandemic.

There has been a drop of 41 million domestic airline flights in the past 12 months, with tour operators hit hard by the gradual state border closures. The closure of the international border has also affected parts of the country heavily dependent on foreign visitors.

Mr Frydenberg, who visited the far north Queensland tourist town of Cairns on Monday, said a targeted support package would be finalized in “a few days”.

“These are important issues that we have been working on for some time. We have done a lot of work, ”he said.

“It’s about targeting that support, but also providing opportunities for those who are doing well to hire more workers, which is going to be good news for people across the country.

Direct cash payments to specific businesses hardest hit by the pandemic should be part of the program, along with low-interest government-guaranteed loans.

The industry has told the government that short-term support may be needed only in the hopes that the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine would boost travelers’ confidence in their Australia vacations.


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