Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry: Thursday 14 May 2020 – 1300rs
The Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) on behalf of the Broome Tourism Recovery Group (BTRG) conducted a survey this week of Broome businesses to evaluate the impacts of Covid-19 coupled with the closing of the Kimberley borders on the local tourism industry and business community.
Impacts during the first five weeks of COVID-19 travel restrictions have caused severe financial losses across the local tourism sector already. If the current restrictions continue and Broome is unable to benefit from the remaining 3 or 4 months of this season, the loss of jobs, tourism businesses and effect on the wider Broome economy will be catastrophic.
The survey identified the following key points:
- 63% of businesses have lost 50% or more of their income in the past 5 weeks of COVID-19
- 98% of surveyed businesses in Broome benefit from tourism and visitors
- 80% of businesses surveyed are directly involved in the tourism, hospitality, and retail sectors
- 57% of local business derive 75% or more of business activity from visitors
- 88% of businesses can be ready and able to open or scale up to meet demand if the borders open soon
- 95% of respondents support the lifting of travel restrictions
Extrapolating the survey results indicates a significant loss just to these businesses of approximately $22 million over the past seven weeks since 23 March 2020 which is shoulder season. With the borders remaining closed to 18 June when Commonwealth Biosecurity Status expires could increase the estimated haemorrhage to around $35 million plus from these 191 businesses.
Keeping the Kimberley isolated from the rest of WA throughout the high season and into September or October, could result in the loss of $100 to $150 million revenue to just these surveyed businesses alone. You could double or treble these losses looking across the whole Broome economy let alone the whole Kimberly.
Comments from CEO Elaine Jolliffe:
“We applaud the WA Government on the announcement of the $14.4 million package to support small tourism operators released yesterday, however it is not going to save the business and tourism industry in Broome. With significant direct economic losses as indicated by the survey to the local sector, the best stimulus for Broome is the lifting of the Biosecurity restrictions with responsible measures in place to protect our vulnerable Aboriginal communities.”
The tourism sector is in a world of pain, grants will help, but nothing will beat recovering the rest of our tourist season!
Comments from Peter Taylor – President
“Whilst the State and Federal Governments must be commended for their quick and decisive actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 we also need quick and decisive actions to ensure that every measure and resource is provided so the Kimberley borders can be opened at the same time as travel restrictions are lifted across the rest of WA.
The Broome tourist sector is ready willing and able to be open for business for the rest of the season. This is a matter of survival for far too many who have invested so much to make Broome a key tourist destination in WA.”
For media enquiries, contact:
Elaine Jolliffe, Chief Executive Officer Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry
P: 08 9193 5553 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Taylor, President Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry