With international travel banned for most of 2021 and a slow and behind-schedule vaccine rollout, the Morrison government has known for a long time that the tourism industry faced an existential crisis from the end of JobKeeper, which is keeping the industry on life support.

Employment in the accommodation sector is still nearly 20% below its level this time last year -- and that was already well under 2019 levels in the wake of the bushfires.

Food and beverage services employment -- about 10 times bigger than accommodation -- is still down 10%, with much of that in regional areas hit by the lack of international visitors and the impact of border closures.