The Tourism and Transport Forum has said that up to 29,000 tourism jobs could be lost as a result of the global recession. The tourism industry, whinch directly employs up to 500,000 people across the country, could be hit hard if recent reports by Access Economics are correct. Access Economics' latest Business Outlook report has revealed the unemployment rate could soar beyond eight percent by the end of 2010, having dire consequences for the tourism industry. Tourism and Transport Forum managing director Christopher Brown said the tourism industry will be hit hard as they rely on discretionary spending to survive. It seems consumers are saving their money in the downturn and are cutting back on luxury expenses such as holidays and travel. Brown said the government needs to do more to support the tourism industry, starting with a $40 million a year spend on overseas marketing. If they don’t act now the consequences will be dire, he said: "This means fewer people working at hotels and motels, in restaurants and cafe ... hotels will be forced to shut off entire floors, while restaurants and cafes will have to reduce their trading hours."