What is the Tourism Support Program?
The Tourism Support Program is an initiative that provides funding to WA tourism operators for expenses incurred in preparation for the border opening scheduled for 5 February 2022.
On Thursday 10 February 2022, the Premier announced a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package for sectors significantly affected by the delay to a full border reopening as a result of the Omicron variant.
This package includes support for eligible businesses in the tourism sector, designed to support the cash flow of businesses and partially offset some of the additional costs or lost revenues as a result of the adjusted border reopening.
There are four programs applicable to the tourism industry. Tourism WA is administering three of these programs.
The four programs available to the tourism industry are:
- $20 million Tourism Support Program – to provide immediate assistance to sole traders and employing businesses that have incurred expenses in preparation for the initially scheduled full border opening on 5 February;
- $15 million Tourism Deposit Refund Program – to provide immediate assistance to eligible tourism businesses that have refunded deposits from some cancelled interstate and international bookings;
- $10 million boost to the existing Aviation Recovery Fund, originally announced as part of the Reconnect WA package – taking the total in this fund to $75 million; and
- $3 million Travel Agent Support Fund – offering payments for eligible home-based businesses and $20,000 payments to eligible brick-and-mortar businesses.
Payment of $10,000 for sole traders, and $20,000 for employing businesses will be provided to eligible applicants. Program funds are not subject to GST.
Eligible expenses that may be claimed, include:
- marketing activities particularly targeted at interstate and/or international markets
- staff recruitment, training, relocation or mobilisation expenses
- registrations and licences
- equipment deployment or activation for reopening
- mobilisation of vehicles/vessels/aircraft and associated surveying and mobilisation requirements
- reinstating supply chain requirements, memberships and accreditation costs
- business IT and online booking/information systems.
To be eligible, businesses must:
- demonstrate a minimum reduction of 30% in turnover between the 2018-19 and 2021-21 financial years
- be an active member of the WA tourism industry through membership or accreditation of identified tourism organisations
- have a valid and active Australian business number (ABN) prior to 20 January 2022
- have business premises located in WA
- have a turnover greater than $50,000
- have incurred expenses in preparation for the anticipated border opening on 5 February 2022.
Additionally, the tourism business must operate within at least 1 of the following categories:
- tourism attraction or experience
- transport (travel/transfer/hire services)
- booking agents and visitor centres
- tourism related retail outlet.
Applications close 29 April 2022.