ANALYSIS - Tourism taking a hit during the Sydney Lockdown

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 29 June 2021

Australia’s tourism industry will lose more than $6 billion due to the Sydney lockdown during school holidays, according to economic data commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF). 

The hit comes at a time when ad spend on domestic tourism had started to surge.

SMI (Standard Media Index) numbers, not yet released publicly, show travel ad spend up 477% in May.

Earlier this year, SMI split travel ad spend calculations into domestic and international. 

Travel industry data shows that in the same two weeks in 2019 more than 1.7 million Australians travelled domestically.

This year the lockdown is expected to cut that by 73% to just over 460,000 travellers.

And the disruption to outdoor media is likely to be a short hiccup as long as the lockdown isn’t extended too long.

Outdoor ad spend grew 177% in May. Share market investors apparently ignored that trend and marked Ooh! Media down. Its shares fell more than 7% to about $1.70 on Monday.

NSW represents around a third of Australia's economic activity and Sydney makes up three-quarters of that.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimate that the direct economic impact of the current lock-down is about $2 billion or 0.1% of annual GDP.

They say past experience shows the economic impact is largely temporary with lock-down areas bouncing back quickly.

However, there is less stimulus support than last year. The federal government has introduced a one-off payment to individuals but is smaller than Jobkeeper


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