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Export Tourism Must Be Engaged Not Omitted

September 18, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

Australia’s peak export tourism industry association, ATEC, today expressed disappointment that tourism no longer has a dedicated Minister and said the industry must be recognised for its $28 billion contribution to the national economy.
“This is the first time in more than 40 years that Australia has not had a tourism Minister and our members, and the industry more broadly, are concerned by this significant omission,” ATEC Managing Director, Felicia Mariani said today.

“What will be important into the future is the Abbott Government’s commitment to strengthening the tourism industry and its valuable contribution, and we are confident this can be done well through the new Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb.

“As one of Australia’s most successful and enduring export industries, we must be recognised and fully engaged in the new Minister’s agenda.”

“While we welcome this whole of Government approach, we need to have a clearly defined Minister who has a responsibility for the tourism industry on a day-to-day basis.”

Ms Mariani said ATEC welcomed the Government’s policy announcement placing greater focus on engaging export tourism as a strong contributor to Australia’s international trade.

“The tourism industry has for far too long been overlooked as a significant contributor to Australia’s export sector, and this new alignment with trade and investment finally acknowledges our place at this important table.

“Tourism is the largest contributor to the country’s export performance in the services sector and the 6thlargest overall within the export industries.

“As the only national industry association devoted to the development of Australia’s $28 billion export tourism industry, Minister Robb must be fully engaged with ATEC in order to understand the needs and complexities of the thousands of businesses who comprise this critical industry.

“ATEC calls on Minister Robb to engage the export tourism sector in his new Ministerial Advisory Council on Trade and Investment.”

Ms Mariani thanked the former Shadow Minister for Tourism, Bob Baldwin, for his extensive engagement with and enthusiasm for the tourism industry.

“Mr Baldwin has been an incredible champion for the issues confronting the tourism industry and this was substantiated by the way that he worked to shape the excellent Coalition Tourism Policy that was launched prior to the election.   He has been a very available and highly visible Shadow Minister and we wish him well in his new portfolio responsibilities.”

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