Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond says Australia needs to get international students back “as soon as possible” to not only help the universities but also provide skilled workers for the tourism industry.

“To be perfectly frank, the other part of this is international students; we have to get those international students back as soon as possible, not just for the sake of the universities but for our industry, which is so desperate for the skills those students provide in their downtime from their education,” Ms Osmond told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“It’s a pivotal part of the tourism industry being able to go forward.”

Ms Osmond said the tourism industry used to have about 1.1 million Australians employed in the sector but due to the pandemic, they lost 600,000.

“A whole generation of skills has taken their career aspirations elsewhere.”

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