THE latest $75.5 million tranche of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program (CTSP) will be the “third and final” allocation under the scheme, says Tourism Minister Dan Tehan, with last night’s Budget Papers saying the funds for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers “will ensure these businesses can respond to the rising demand for international travel”.
Although the headline number for the travel and tourism sector amounted to $146.5 million (TD breaking news), most of this had previously been announced, including the CTSP and also a $60 million boost for Tourism Australia (TD 22 Mar).
The Budget allocates $2 million for a new “visitor economy online employment and skills platform” as well as $4.8 million for Tourism Research Australia “to capture and analyse more tourism and visitor data to help businesses operating in the visitor economy make improved business decisions,” Tehan noted.
To help address skills shortages, the current caps on Working Holiday Makers will have a one-off 30% increase in 2022/23.
The Minister confirmed the long-term plan for the visitor economy, as laid out in the THRIVE 2030 report (TD 26 Nov 2021) was targeting growth to $230 billion over the next 8 years.
Several other Budget measures may assist industry businesses, including a 120% bonus tax deduction for technology costs, but like all tax-driven initiatives these are only applicable for companies which are profitable.