Murray Region tourism businesses have been overlooked in the recently announced Federal Government Tourism Support Package.

Murray Regional Tourism Chair Wendy Greiner was disappointed at the announcement Albury and Mildura’s airports would not be included in the $1.2 billion cut-price flights scheme.

Prior to COVID-19 and border closures the region would welcome annually 6.5 million visitors across our river communities supporting around 2,500 tourism businesses and providing over 18,000 jobs in the region.

Visitors spent nearly $2 billion in direct expenditure and enjoyed 10 million nights in the region.

“The Murray region’s tourism industry has been decimated by COVID-19 and the border closures unlike any other location in Australia,” Ms Greiner said.

“With two regional airports servicing the Murray region from key source markets we are extremely disappointed to have again been overlooked for vital support for our region.

“We implore the Federal government to review the current arrangements and urgently request Mildura and Albury are added to the list of eligible destinations in the support package. These short sighted and unfair subsidies as they currently stand will reduce visitation, net visitor spending and only lead to an alarming increase in job losses”.

Tourism operators in the Murray have endured the highest lockdown measures in Australia with over 41 weeks of interrupted trade in the past 12 months as a consequence of Coronavirus restrictions implemented by both the NSW and Victorian governments.