Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has welcomed the Morrison Government’s twin announcements of a coordinated tourism recovery package and further support for small businesses affected by the bushfire crisis.
The initial $76 million tourism recovery package, aimed at halting an alarming decline in international bookings in the wake of Australia’s bushfire crisis, includes $20 million for a nationally co-ordinated domestic marketing initiative and $25 million for a global marketing campaign to bring international tourists back to Australia.
R&CA CEO Wes Lambert said the announcement is welcome news for the tourism industry, and the provision of top-up grants to eligible small businesses of up to $50,000 plus interest free loans of up to $500,000 for affected businesses will be vitally important to help restaurants, cafes and caterers in bushfire affected areas rebuild.
“R&CA have been working with the Morrison Government through various consultations over the last week and have been putting forward practical solutions that will help small businesses across the hospitality industry survive this terrible bushfire crisis”, Mr Lambert said.
“Ninety-three per cent of restaurants, cafes and caterers across Australia are small businesses employing less than 19 people. I have no doubt that the announcements of new grants and concessional loans will help keep some of these businesses open where they would be at risk of shutting their doors forever.
“We said loud and clear this week that for businesses who are still able to trade, cash flow is of vital importance to keep the business afloat. To their credit the Morrison Government has listened to these concerns and acted decisively.
“Businesses who are not directly impacted by bushfires have also seen a significant drop in tourism revenue. R&CA believes the tourism recovery package will be critical to lure international and domestic tourists to Australia and let the world know we are still open for business”, Mr Lambert said.