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Budget must boost Australia’s tourism competitiveness

May 9, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

The continued success of Australia’s export tourism industry relies on a federal budget that delivers on a number of policy fronts, from investment in global marketing campaigns, improved visa facilitation and more streamlined international access, to forward thinking labour force strategies.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) says the 2017 budget must support Australian tourism businesses competing for international market share by maintaining marketing funds at real levels and freezing travel related fees and charges which negatively impact Australia’s competitiveness as a destination.

“When the Federal Government hands down this week’s budget, ATEC would like to see sustained funding to enable Tourism Australia maintain its global competitiveness in promoting Australia as a quality travel destination, along with solid policy decisions to help Australia stand out in the pack,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.

“Every element of Australia’s tourism marketing mix is critical to the future success of our export industry and we would be highly concerned by any reduction to Tourism Australia’s funding.”

Mr Shelley said inbound tourism had grown to become Australia’s second largest export and, with the global travel and tourism sector forecast to grow faster than the wider economy, the Australian tourism sector is well positioned to deliver a ‘ten fold’ return on investment in terms of economic contribution and jobs.

“This budget needs to address a broad range of policy points that will support the continued success of our $40 billion industry and help to position Australia as the number one choice for international visitors.”

In its pre-budget submission, ATEC highlighted a number of areas and recommendations that would support the ongoing growth of our export tourism industry including:

  • Marketing investment – keeping Tourism Australia funding at real levels
  • Visa policy – ensure competitively priced visa fees
  • Labour and skills – implement visa reforms to provide for a flexible workforce and investment in new technology to match workers with employers
  • Build industry capacity – provide funds to establish a Tourism Industry Growth Centre

“We call on the Turnbull Government to provide genuine support for the thousands of Australian tourism businesses which are ‘punching above their weight’ on the global stage as they strive to grow market share against other highly competitive international tourism destinations.”

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