You can’t escape it! Everywhere you turn you are bombarded on the next Coronavirus update. Social media, emails, SMS messages are running at fever pitch with virus hysteria. None of us has ever experienced anything like it! The question is when will this phenomenon ends, what will be the full extent of the damages, and how do businesses recover?
This article aims to spread a message of HOPE and REASSURANCE that We WILL Get Through This Crisis Together.
I am no expert and I do not pretend to know all the answers! But what I believe is likely to happen is that the top of the curve of this viral infection will occur around the end of May to early June 2020. So, during the next couple of months, we have to get through this the best way we can. This is no time for petty politics – businesses, banks and all levels of government need to pull together like never before in peacetime. Hopefully, by the end of June 2020, some semblance of normality will return to our lives – with many lessons learned.
Travel & Tourism | Support For Businesses
The global travel and tourism industries have taken the BIGGEST HIT and are in total disarray. Tourism had no time to prepare or put any plans into action. I believe ALL governments should have taken steps to better educate the public before shutting down the world. What I mean by this is: Customers who paid upfront for flights, hotels and other travel expenses ought to have been advised NOT to cancel their trip but encouraged to POSTPONE and change their dates! Having a tourism awareness campaign in place before announcing the SHUTDOWN, may have saved many businesses, not just those in tourism.
The Damage is Done!
We NOW know that the damage is already done, but we can take steps to help each other. Globally every sector of the travel and tourism industries are under threat with the flow on affect spreading to other businesses like quicksand. Cities like Cairns in Far North Queensland rely heavily on tourism and businesses there are already at breaking point. Tourism was already feeling the pinch before the outbreak of Coronavirus. Australia saw a reduction in tourism caused by the worst summer bushfires recorded in history. Many travellers cancelled or delayed their travels to Australia, and this, in turn, impacted the hospitality industry.
In the coming days, weeks and many months, things will, unfortunately, get much worse. So, how do these businesses and other industries get through this, and what happens next? What can be done NOW to help reduce more fallout caused by the virus! We know this situation is temporary and we will travel again. Together, we need to reduce the levels of panic and restore some sanity in our lives.
Elderly Most at Risk
More employees are working from home, and people are abiding by social distancing guidelines and self-isolating. With Easter fast approaching and school holidays upon us, the numbers affected by COVID-19 will rise. Working parents rely on grandparents to help care for young children in these periods, and this may impact on their health. Good hand hygiene, social distancing, and exercising caution are our best options until the Coronavirus cure is found or the virus is contained, or a vaccination is developed. At this stage, we are all treading water and living in unknown territory!
So, what measures are our governments, banks and tourism businesses doing to help limit the damages and restore calm and confidence?
Let’s Save Tourism
Forward-thinking tourism companies are doing their best to convince their customers not to cancel their trips and why they should accept a credit for monies paid. Good communication with customers and selling the benefits of travelling at a later date is a positive move forward for the tourism industry. In the weeks and months ahead, customers will have tremendous buying power and access to great travel deals and incentives. Honoured credits have the potential to be more valuable than what customers initially paid.
The “wait and see” option may be difficult for some customers to agree to especially those who are in the threat of losing their jobs and living from week to week. The focus must shift toward implementing programmes that benefit both tourism operations and customers. Let’s save tourism together!
Bank Hardship Assistance for All Customers
Australian banks are doing everything they can to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus crisis. Mums and Dads are also advised to reach out to their banks and ask for help. Dedicated financial specialists are working with bank customers to implement strategies for these difficult times.
Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can defer loan repayments for up to six months. Cardholders can also contact their bank by phone or live chat and request help in deferring payments without damaging their credit ratings. Any customer experiencing financial hardship can receive payment assistance. There is help available, and your bank may be able to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Most major banks and finance lenders are helping is ways never seen before in Australia. Numerous relief measures are already in place to support personal and business customers facing financial difficulties.
Some of these relief measures:
- the ability to defer loan and mortgage repayments
- the option to make Interest Only repayments
- special arrangements in relation to arrears
- early access to Term Deposit funds with a waiver of redemption fee
- waiver of other fees and charges related to non-payment
For more information, your bank is the best person to talk to. Get the help you need today, and you will be ok tomorrow.
What is the Australian Government Doing to Help the Fallout from the Coronavirus?
World leaders are making difficult decisions on how to protect the health of their people without destroying economies and risking social breakdown.
In recent days the Australian government announced an economic response package totalling $189 billion. It is intended to maintain confidence, business continuity, keep people in jobs and support investments. The package is designed to help small businesses manage short-term cash flow challenges and support individuals most severely affected in our communities and regions. To view the Australian Government’s consolidating package summary click here.
Four key areas targeted by the Government Economic Response:
- Delivering support for business investment
- Cash flow assistance for employers
- Stimulus payments to households to support growth
- Assistance for severely affected regions
The travel ban on residents and non-citizen entering countries, including Australia, is because most Coronavirus cases have come from overseas or are directly connected to someone who’s been abroad. Shutting the borders, together with the introduction of indoor and outdoor crowd bans and social distancing venue limits is working.
Our health system is currently coping well with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and managing to keep our communities safe. Australia has reported relatively small numbers, but the spread of the virus continues to move through its communities. Pandemic plans have been activated, and the government is protecting Australians by imposing travel restrictions and strict border controls. An additional $2.4 billion has been allocated across the following health sectors – primary care, aged care, hospitals and research to support and manage any further outbreaks of Coronavirus in Australia. These funds will effectively be used to assess, diagnose and treat Coronavirus patients and help to minimise the spread of the virus in the community. The search for a vaccine has become a global competition and proudly Australia is leading the way towards developing a Coronavirus vaccine.
If you, a family member, friend or anyone you know needs help:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN)on 1800 008 774
Stay up to date and informed with the Australia Government Department of Health. Help stop the spread of the virus and stay healthy.
Not only has the Coronavirus affected people’s health, but it has also caused significant economic repercussions in Australia and around the world. At the end of 2019, Australia’s economic activity was showing signs of growth with production in manufacturing and service industries, improving in some key economies.
It is already clear that the spread of the virus across the globe is having massive economic implications, and this is evident in financial markets. The falls in the Australian dollar and stock markets has caused fears for investors and retirees. For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus
History shows that the global economy will improve. So let’s all remain hopeful about our future and for the generations to come.
I am committed to producing travel content through these difficult times to help you to continue to dream. Use these crazy and uncertain times to plan and save for your next travel adventure. There is going to be incredible travel deals on offer in the following weeks and months.
When times get tough, remind yourself that without dreams, hope and goals, we have nothing to strive for. Stay positive and safe and keep in mind that “Staying Home Today; We Can Travel Tomorrow! If you have booked a trip, please consider postponing it rather than cancelling. Your act of kindness can help save tourism. The world will be there when this is all over!
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