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Enews - March 2020

Friday 06, Mar 2020
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A word from our Managing Director

Investment required now to support recovery of damaged tourism sector

This is truly a difficult time for our industry.  On top of our tragic summer, we have seen our strongest market evaporate and now a dramatic downturn in international travel.
ATEC stands beside our members as a passionate advocate for our industry and the thousands of businesses that make it so great.
Today I’m in Canberra attending a raft of meetings, including tourism ministers from around the country, communicating the story of what is happening at the coalface.  Sharing the individual stories, the market feedback and the inside insights - and I thank our members for their willingness to be forthcoming with their advice and guidance.

One of our great strengths is our willingness to pull together and collectively stick up for our industry and in that task, we are calling on federal and state government representatives to actively support the tourism industry in its time of need.
The impact of the bushfires created a misleading perception that the whole of Australia was on fire. This led to thousands of international cancellations and a halt to forward bookings, with the US, UK & European markets being the most severely impacted.
The subsequent covid-19 will be even more damaging to tourism businesses.  Whilst the travel bans have a direct impact on passage from those markets, the fear and uncertainty have driven a downturn in travel across the board.  ATEC's own research reveals forward bookings are down 36% through to June across all markets as result of both the bushfires and the virus.
Uncertainty surrounding the length of travel restrictions has elevated the challenges facing many of our members and while it is reasonable to assume our industry will recover over time, the pace of this recovery will come down to the strength of support received by federal and state governments.  Active recovery measures may mean the difference between a one and three year recovery timeframe. Government's swift fiscal response during the GFC shored up our economy and whilst there was a downturn, Australia fared well by international standards.
We are seeking a mix of short and long-term support measures that will help maintain the fabric of the Australian/China distribution network.  These include:
  • Business support to offset cashflow crisis: tax breaks, loans etc
  • Employer support to retain staff
  • Collaborative aviation strategy to re-establish routes and capacity
  • High level trade missions & virtual trade shows
  • Marketing funds to drive demand
There is no doubt that we are entering unchartered waters however this journey will be more productive if we know the federal and state governments are in partnership with the industry, actively investing in a rapid recovery and removing any impediments along the way.

Finally, it is with very sad hearts that we received the news this week of the passing of James Kwan.  James was a well loved and valued member of our tourism community and our thoughts are with Kwan family at this tragic time.

All the best,
Peter Shelley
Managing Director


Subscribe NOW!

ATEC is excited to announce the launch of a new communication channel.

'Inbounder' will be the Australian inbound tourism industry’s platform for communication, thought leadership, destination marketing, product innovation, ideas and inspiration. The quarterly digital magazine will connect Australian tourism products with international travel buyers including Australian based inbound tour operators and online travel agents, international wholesalers and the broader global distribution network.
In light of the multiple impacts affecting the industry already this year, a special “Recovery” edition of Inbounder will mark the pre-launch of this free publication to be released on 10 March. 

To receive this FREE special edition of Inbounder, register your details here


ATEC has been successfully leading an industry driven social media campaign to show the world that Australia is open for business as we move into a recovery phase post the devastation of the recent bushfires. The campaign has now reached over 9500 impressions (total no. of times posts were seen), cumulating over 1000 + individual posts to the hashtag #bushfirebounceback since launching on the 10 Jan 2020.

The campaign will continue to promote Australia and encourage international visitation in 2020 by sharing photos and stories to the hashtags #bushfirebounceback and #openforbusiness


Managing COVID-19

The impact of the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak is widespread and it is still impossible to measure the full gravity of the situation.

ATEC has actively engaged with both industry and government with the purpose of monitoring cancellations and identifying key pain points and measures we can explore to assist businesses. At the most recent Market Advisory Panel meeting, the key themes dominating our agenda were ongoing cancellations, business survival, racism & discrimination, market recovery and trade support.  

The priority will be to maintain trade relations to ensure we protect the distribution ecosystem and ATEC is exploring practical ways we can facilitate this.

Read more ATEC comms re: covid-19 here and click here to download the latest Chief Medical Officer letter (02/03/20). Our latest media release is here.

Nth Qld & NSW COVID-19 Update 

Industry has been very active during these past few weeks maintaining communication with the trade on the ever-fluid situation with coronavirus (covid-19) and the impacts to businesses across Australia. ATEC attended the TTNQ forum with Tourism & Events QLD CEO Leanne Coddington and the QLD Deputy Premier Jackie Trad MP.

The QLD government have been very proactive with their support packages for both bushfire and coronavirus and ATEC welcomed the announcements from the Deputy Premier which included reef/berthing fee waivers and other government fee relief.  

ATEC NSW hosted a member event on 20 Feb - 70+ members gathered to hear the latest from Tourism Australia's MD Phillipa Harrison on the marketing efforts driving recovery and the ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 impacts.

Vale James Kwan

It is with great sadness that we write to inform all members of the passing of James Kwan early Sunday morning after his health deteriorated rapidly due to the covid-19 virus. James had been a passenger, along with his wife and family on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
James was a true pioneer of Asian inbound tourism to Australia, after founding Wel-Travel in 1988, paving the way in developing important inbound tourism markets including Malaysia, Singapore, China and India and Indonesia. The Kwan family made a significant contribution to WA's economy before expanding their inbound travel business nationally.

Click here to read more.

Message of support to China

On the back of the China Industry Meeting in Cairns recently, TEQ and TTNQ have launch a project for our region to create short videos to send messages of support to China. These videos will be sent via WeChat channels and other streams into China.  

Whilst the individual products are doing them. The North Queensland ATEC and YATEC members gathered and filmed one together.

Click here to watch the video.

Tourism Australia steps up


TA’s regular messaging during both the bushfire and coronavirus events has been welcomed by industry. Last month, Tourism Australia announced that it will provide full refunds to all seller delegates registered for the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) this year in Melbourne – part of the federal government’s support package to TA post-bushfires. This news has been received very positively by industry - high fives TA!

ATEC looks forward to working closely with TA in the lead up to ATE to ensure our ‘open for business’ and ‘welcome back’ message is heard by the global trade loud and clear.

Bushfire recovery assistance package

The opportunity to access bushfire recovery assistance has opened with the Federal government announcing that applications for grants opened on Monday, 17 February 2020.

Information on the grant program, including guidelines and where businesses can go to apply, can be found here.

Your voice in Canberra

ATEC has recently lodged two submissions on behalf of members: the annual Pre-Budget 2020/21 and the Skilled Migration Occupation List Review. Both submissions focus on measures that drive growth and deliver positive impact to our industry.  ATEC's submission library can be perused here.

Our Pre-Budget submission focuses on recent events (although given the current environment things have already moved since writing) that have altered the current commercial landscape, highlighting immediate budgetary measures to support tourism, along with medium and long term measures that drive demand and position Australia as an internationally competitive destination.  From a skilled occupation perspective, we advocated for Travel Agency Manager to move to the medium/long term occupation list and for the Diving Instructor to be retained on the short term list.

Welcome new members!

We are delighted to welcome the following NEW members to the ATEC family!

• City of Adelaide – RTO, SA
• TAFE Queensland – Educational Institution, SQ
• WebBeds – Major Buyer, National
• Wine Yarra Valley – Associate Seller, VIC
• Ibis Styles East Perth – Extra Location Seller, WA
Click here to learn more about membership and the benefits for your business.

‘India Host’ launched!

ATEC, Tourism Australia and Austrade have partnered to deliver a national inbound Indian tourism training program in preparation for the 2020 Cricket World Cup.

‘India Host’ is a 4-modular program: Culture Ready, Product Ready, Service Ready and Trade Ready all delivered online in 90min webinars. India Host Graduates will receive an India Host Certificate and digital badging and will also be invited to engage in a Trade Engagement session with Indian market Buyers at the finale!

Reserve your spot NOW: NSW/ACT, QLD, WA, SA or contact us here.

India Host graduates 

Yesterday 25 India Host graduates celebrated their learning in Melbourne.  The first group to go through the program enjoyed the discussion with key buyers specialising in the Indian market.  

Thanks to Garry Burns and Himanshi Munshaw Luhar for creating and delivering the program.

Next stop is NSW/ACT starting next week. Click here to find out more and to reserve your spot.

SQ - New Product Workshop

Following a successful Meeting Place in Brisbane in November, ATEC's Southern Queensland Branch organised a New Product workshop for local buyers and sellers to secure a range of new experiences in the region.

The event proved yet again that we have some amazing tours, products and experiences. But we’re facing tough times again and these new products are backed up by some passionate and dedicated sellers.

SA Showcase

SA Showcase was held at the Vibe Hotel Sydney on Thursday, 27th February. ATEC together with the South Australian Tourism Commission invited Sydney based buyers to meet with South Australian operators for a full day of B2B appointments. 27 sellers and 27 buyers attended the sold-out event.

The diversity of SA product and buyers was exceptional and based on delegate feedback the event provided a great opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with the trade and get first hand updates on South Australia.

Member's Corner


We are excited to bring back our 'Members' Corner' feature - our informal chat with a valued ATEC member on life, business and generally the lay of the land. With so much happening nationally and globally, we thought we'd chat to one of our smaller, regionally located operators about their strategies for recovery in this challenging time. So come and meet Damien Cerantonio - ATEC Victoria Committee member, Distribution Advisory Panel member and the MD of the stunning Great Ocean Road Resort.

Click here to read more.


ACT branch's 2020 networking kickoff

The ACT branch held their first networking event of the year with an opportunity to experience the new food & beverage precinct in the Canberra Airport domestic terminal.

Members enjoyed a stunning feast showcasing local produce and wines.  This is the first stage for the airport's precinct development with more venues opening in April 2020.

Thanks to the wonderful support of Canberra Airport as ACT Branch Champion.
What’s on for the rest of 2020 – click here to view the full calendar
Copyright © 2020 Australian Tourism Export Council, All rights reserved.

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