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Coalition Policy Listens To Tourism And Recognises Opportunity

September 5, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

The Coalition’s Policy for Tourism announcement provides a strong platform to support the export tourism industry, recognising the integral role it plays in Australia’s international trade, ATEC Managing Director, Felicia Mariani said today.
Welcoming key announcements that include a refocusing of Tourism Australia’s marketing, a freeze to the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) and additional funding to build export markets, Ms Mariani said the policy clearly focused on the needs of the industry.

“This announcement today is terrific and places export tourism front and centre as an important element in our national economy,” Ms Mariani said.

“The move to include tourism as part of the Trade portfolio, which has previously been bundled with the unrelated and often competitive resources industry responsibilities,  is a much better fit and illustrates the valuable export opportunities tourism brings to the Australian economy.

“Freezing the PMC for the next three years is another great move and an example of how the Coalition has listened to the industry and responded favorably.

“ATEC and other industry associations have strongly fought the inappropriate and consistent increases in the PMC  which have affected our competitiveness globally.”

Ms Mariani said these initiatives, along with improved visa applications for Chinese visitors announced recently, show the Coalition recognises the needs and opportunities of the export tourism sector.

“Initiatives such as electronic lodgement of visas and streamlined application options are vital offerings to a market that is growing as fast as China.

“ATEC is particularly pleased to see Tourism Australia (TA) will drop its domestic marketing focus and apply all its resources to marketing Australia internationally – recognising the strongly growing potential of our export tourism sector.

“The industry has for many years noted the duplication of effort and resources across State and Federal tourism agencies. This sharper focus on driving international demand will give TA and the State Tourism Organisations clearly defined markets and ensure we maximise marketing spend with each body crystal clear on their territory of responsibility.”

The increased funding to Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) is another welcomed commitment that will further opportunities for Australian tourism businesses to build their international markets.

“The tourism industry has been keen to engage with the EMDG program, but recent restrictions have made this increasingly difficult.  This additional $50 million commitment will be of huge assistance to tourism operators looking to connect directly with the trade in key overseas markets.”

Of particular note, is that the Coalition’s EMDG policy takes away the current requirement that any additional funding be restricted to developing business in new markets outside of the established regions of the US, NZ and UK/Europe.

“With many tourism operators across the country still very reliant on business from these traditional markets of the West, this will be a welcome announcement to their export efforts in the coming years.

“This policy clearly illustrates that the Coalition has taken the time to engage the industry, find out what we need and then worked to implement our ideas in a way that show’s they really have listened closely.

“ATEC welcomes these significant policy initiatives and looks forward to working with the next government on other industry issues including the extension of the Working Holiday Visa scheme.”

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