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Budget fails to invest in tourism growth

May 10, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Tonight’s Federal Budget contains little by way of forward investment in Australia’s export tourism success according to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

While Australia enjoys ever increasing international visitor numbers and expenditure, Budget measures announced this evening, including increases to visa charges and a reduction in funding for Tourism Australia, will weaken our long-term competitiveness.

“Australia’s export tourism industry delivers billions of dollars in revenue to governments and businesses across the country, but tonight’s Federal Budget fails to provide any investment in its sustained growth,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said from Parliament House.

“While our industry is clearly generating an enormous amount of tax revenue for Government coffers, we are failing to see any strong investment in ensuring its future and supporting Australia to be a competitive destination.

“Australia has been a bucket-list destination for many years now but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels as a failure to invest in demand driver activities will see our competitiveness weaken over time.”

“The 2% increase to visa fees, including tourist, working holiday and the 10 year visa for Chinese visitors, will be an additional barrier to international visitation.

“All in all, this is a beige budget for the tourism industry that continues to water down the effectiveness of Tourism Australia’s marketing budget by failing to even provide for CPI growth.”

Mr Shelley said Government investment in regional Australia through the Regional Growth Fund would be welcomed by regional tourism businesses.

“Capacity building and regional dispersal are real issues for Australia’s tourism industry and this is a fund that we hope will provide an opportunity to build regional tourism businesses and improve their ability to connect with international tourists.

“But for Australia’s tourism industry to be successful we need to support both sides of the tourism equation with government investment in growing demand and improving our ability to deliver a quality tourism product.

“If we can’t reinvest these significant revenues towards generating a stronger tourism product we risk losing our global competitiveness and this is the issue our industry is most concerned about.”

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