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Positive Outlook But Need A Sensible Middle For Real Growth

October 28, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

The value and contribution of Australia’s export tourism industry is continuing its upward trend according to two reports released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) today.
“These reports show we can expect around 6.6 million international visitors to Australia in the coming year, pushing us well clear of the most recent milestones.  These improved projections in visitation, coupled with an increase in forecasted expenditure value to $29 billion in 2013-14, sets the industry up for a record performance this year,” ATEC Managing Director, Felicia Mariani said.Sidebarcbc_468x220

“This is a significant and strong achievement for our industry.  With high levels of growth out of new markets in Asia, supported by the rebounding performance from our traditional markets, the tourism industry has finally secured a positive path for growth.”

“The expected increase in domestic travel is a welcome turn-around and will certainly help to underpin our improving performance.

“All of this clearly combines to illustrate the strong value tourism represents to Australia’s future economic fortunes.  The recent Deloitte Report identified tourism as one of the five key pillars to drive the nation’s future economic performance.  These reports released today by the TRA absolutely cement this thinking and Government needs to work with the tourism industry to ensure that this potential is maximised.”

Ms Mariani said the report also showed the enormous contribution tourism makes to sustaining local communities and employment across the nation.

“Around 280,000 tourism businesses across Australia – predominantly small business operators – provide a significant contribution to tourism’s gross value add.

“The report also highlights some of the real sticking-points in the future success of the industry, with high labour costs and productivity a significant burden on the profitability and success of these businesses.

“The tourism industry is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation and the profit margins are low. For many of our members, staff costs stifle their capacity to effectively operate a business, and this must change in order for the industry to remain competitive on a global level.

“In the lead up to the election, the Government indicated they would look to find “a sensible middle ground” on labour costs and we would encourage them to take the opportunity to act on this promise and provide real change for the tourism industry.”

Ms Mariani said enabling the industry to perform better would have significant positive benefits to the broader economy and urged the Government to invest in its growth.

“ATEC has long advocated for an industry research and development capability that would provide support, particularly to tourism’s smaller operators, to increase their productivity and stimulate greater profitability into the future.

“As an industry organization with a strong small business base, ATEC will be looking to engage the new Government in this important area of industry enablement.”

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