Australia’s tourism sector has received an additional $1.2 billion recovery package from the Morrison government and numerous tourist stocks are set to benefit.

The JobKeeper program is ending on March 31 but with international borders still closed and people still cautious to travel domestically, the industry had been crying out for some form of support.

Today, Australia’s tourism sector learned of a broad package to help. It is headlined by 800,000 half-price airfares which will be available from April 1 and be initially to 13 key regions.

These regions are: the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island) and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland as well as Lasseter and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie in Tasmania, Broome in WA, Avalon in Victoria, Merimbula in NSW, and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Other measures include the extension of the “SME Loan Guarantee Scheme” and the reinstatement of domestic aviation security screening cost rebates.

“The thing our tourism operators want more than anything is tourists so we need Australians to do their patriotic duty and book a holiday this year because every dollar spent on an Australian holiday is a dollar that supports a local job and a local business,” Australia’s Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said.

“Our Government’s support package will help get more Australians into those tourist areas most impacted by border lockdowns, and we need states and territories to do their part by agreeing to a nationally consistent approach to using border closures and lockdowns as a last resort on medical advice.”

 

Which ASX stocks could benefit?

Stockhead has identified nine stocks that could benefit from this package that are airlines, operators of major tourism attractions in Australia or travel agents.

Among airline stocks the obvious candidate for a boost is flag carrier Qantas (ASX:QAN) as well as Regional Express (ASX:REX).

While Rex is predominantly a regional airline it has begun an expansion into jet flights between major cities and is planning flights to the Gold Coast from Sydney and Melbourne.

The one other aviation stock is Alliance Aviation (ASX:AQZ) which predominantly operates charter flights but does some wet leasing for major airlines including Qantas. Last month it sealed a deal with Qantas to operate flights between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin.

Stocks with tourism-focused attractions in targeted regions in Australia may also benefit.

Three of these are Reef Casino Trust (ASX:RCT), which runs its namesake facility in Cairns, adventure tourism operator Experience Co (ASX:EXP) and Gold Coast casino operator Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR).

Travel agents Helloworld (ASX:HLO)Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) and Webjet (ASX:WEB) would inevitably benefit as well.

 

How are Australia’s tourism stocks going?

Many Australian tourism stocks are still underwater from their pre-COVID levels but have made a recovery in the last 12 months.

The average stock is up over 150 per cent in 12 months but this is heavily skewed by Canberra casino operator Aquis Entertainment (ASX:AQS) which has made runaway gains in recent weeks without news.

Unfortunatly for the ACT, Canberra is not one of the 13 regions set to receive this package.

The average gain without Aquis is 35 per cent and most shares saw modest gains this morning including the airlines and travel agents.