Tasmania’s tourism operators, hotels, caravan parks and restaurants are set for a rush of tourists as part of a new $1.2 billion support package from the Morrison Government.

Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said 800,000 half-priced airfares would be provided under the package to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism businesses.

“Discounts will be offered on tens of thousands of fares per week across an initial 13 key tourism regions, including Launceston, Devonport and Burnie,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We know that when $1 is spent on a ticket, $10 is spent on the ground, which will give Tasmania’s economy the boost it needs as it recovers.

“This package includes cheap loans for businesses and direct support to keep planes in the air and airline workers in jobs, helping Tasmanians get back to normal trading.

“This is a win for Tasmania’s tourism industry and a win for Tasmanians, and I urge everyone, if they can, to take advantage of the half-priced airfares.”

The half-price ticket program will initially operate to 13 key regions including; the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island. Flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines.

The discounts will be off the average fare and will be available on airline websites from 1 April.

The Morrison Government will also expand and extend its ‘SME Loan Guarantee Scheme’ as part of its commitment to support up to $40 billion in lending to small and medium enterprises.

The Government has also extended the following programs to 30 September 2021:

  • the successful Domestic Aviation Network Support (DANS) and Regional Aviation Network Support (RANS) programs
  • the 50 per cent waiver of domestic air services charges for Regular Public Transport (RPT) and aeromedical flight
  • the International Freight Assistance Mechanism

The $50 million Business Events Grants Program will also be extended by three months to support Australian businesses to hold multi-day business events, covering up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating business events during the 2021 calendar year. This will help restart Australia’s business events sector.

The $94.6 million Zoos and Aquarium program will be extended by six months to support zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks to maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by travel and social distancing restrictions.