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Has new PM Abbott snubbed tourism and travel?

September 19, 2013 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59When new Coalition Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his new Cabinet and Ministry this week, his strong pre election commitments made to tourism appear not to have gone as far as the appointment of a Minister for Tourism or Travel.

With the travel industry having also been pushing for a Minister for Travel, it appears to some in the industry that both travel and tourismappear to have been snubbed.

Others say that this makes no sense, with tourism alone a vital industry for the Australian economy, representing around 2.5% ofAustralia’s GDP worth over A$35 billion to the national economy, equivalent to nearly $A110m to the Australian economy every day!

As a result of the non appointment, tourism and travel appear are now reported to be under the wing of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment and who knows whether that will be good or bad, as some might argue that at least tourism and travel are now located in what could be described as a “serious” ministry, rather  than one that clearly in the past appears to have been taken rather less seriously?

Throughout recent Labor and even Liberal governments, tourism has always been lumped in with other Ministries, including mining and resources, with some clarity expected by the industry soon regarding what the arrangements will be for how tourism and travel will be able to engage with government and also critically, the implementation and delivery of the Coalition’s tourism policy.

In the meantime, the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has announced its support to moving tourism and especially internationaltourism in with foreign affairs and trade, under Julie Bishop as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Andrew Robb as Minister for Trade and Investment.

TTF CEO Ken Morrison said that it was a sensible arrangement which would ensure that tourism is considered in the decision making around Australia’s foreign policy and acknowledges the gateway role that tourism plays in helping foster international relationships for business, education and investment, adding, “Economic diplomacy of this type will help to drive synergies in the promotion of Australia as an international destination, leveraging the activities of other Australian agencies in key source markets.”

At the same time, domestic tourism will reportedly be managed under a separate portfolio by Ian Macfarlane as Minister for Industry and Bob Baldwin as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry.

What do you think?

John Alwyn-Jones, Special Correspondent

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Craig says:

    People might take Ken Morrison’s comments more seriously if “representative” bodies like TTF were not political wings of the LNP.

  2. September 22, 2013 at 2:04 am
    This move allocates two Cabinet Ministers – Bishop and Robb, both extremely competent and senior and signifies the importance of tourism to the economy in providing jobs, investment and growth in communities across Australia.

    Responsibility for domestic tourism marketing returns to the States & Territories where it should have remained. TA has tried to become the everything for everyone even getting involved in intra-state toriism.

    The Minister for Trade and Investment will have the ability to drive Tourism through participating in trade missions, engaging with business to promote Australia as an investment location and involvement in Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

    Thise who have used TA to engage in grandiose hair brained schemes at the expense of small businesses suffering, will see it come to an end. Those who have ridden the gravy train of free trips/holidays and endless grants will now have to work for their income, which in turn, means that Tourism Australia dollars will be spent on the real business of selling Australia overseas and creating jobs and wealth for hard working Australians.

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