empty beach with empty chairs no tourism dead tourists
Image – Canva.
  • Jobs return but don't bounce back, 4 out of 10 tourism jobs recovered
  • Tourism employment on the up, but mixed results show uneven recovery
  • Asia Pacific hotel market is heating up, 70% of investors want a piece now

Jobs return, but uncertainty abounds

It goes without saying tourism took a massive hit when COVID lockdowns came.

Despite intervention by state and federal governments the tourism industry continues to see the impact of COVID on tourism jobs, the Australian Bureau of Statistics today released its quarterly tourism labour statistics.

“Recovery in tourism jobs has not been equal across industries. Industries like Road transport and Retail trade have grown, while others like Air transport, Cultural services, and Accommodation have been slower to regain jobs lost during the March and June quarters of last year.” 

Jonathon Khoo, ABS head of Tourism Statistics

The ABS noted that part-time jobs saw the most growth and strength, more so than full-time jobs, for the quarter, part-timers increased by 5.9%.

Movement in jobs for selected industries, December 2019 and 2020, original series
Image – Australian Bureau of Statistics.

More broadly, the statistics say in December of last year, the number of tourism jobs rose by 5.1% as compared to September 2020 but were down when compared to December 2019.

Percentage change in tourism jobs, original series
Image – Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It’s “a recovery of 4 out of 10 tourism jobs compared to 7 out of 10 economy-wide jobs,” said the ABS, with the movement in jobs “uneven” across the different areas of tourism.

Percentage change in jobs by industry, original series
Image – Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Confidence in Asia drives hotel investment

Commercial property giant JLL surveyed property investors and apparently there is renewed confidence in the Asia Pacific hotel market.

Some 70% of respondents to the survey are said to be “bullish” on the market, JLL forecasts $7 billion to change hands for Asia Pacific hotels in 2021, up from the previous year’s forecast of $5.8 billion.

Most of the confidence lies in Japan at 52%, with Southeast Asia at 46%. Australia is also viewed favourably at 33%, a figure which will be music to the ears of tourism operators from the east to the west coasts of Australia.

Senior Managing Director and Head of Investment Sales, Asia Pacific, for JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group Nihat Ercan said: “The cycle has been reset and we are now on the cusp of a period of recovery. Optimism around the deployment of vaccines and an eventual recovery in tourism has started to drive activity and investors don’t want to miss the opportunity.”

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