ATEC today welcomed the draft Productivity Report released this week, Barriers to Growth in Service Exports, which provides policy tweaks which, if implemented, would support the future growth of Australia’s export tourism industry.“The report highlights some key policy issues representing barriers to the future growth of tourism exports, including the unequal and unproductive costs and administrative burdens placed on visitors, especially from two of our growth markets – China and India,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said.
“While we have seen some welcome adjustments to Government policy in recent months, there is more work to be done if Australia is to remain an attractive destination for visitors from these markets.
“In particular, ATEC strongly supports moves to improve passenger facilitation through differentiated border processing services. Establishing a range of price points for visa applications will support faster processing for those who need it, free up capacity for the standard visa process and provide funding for additional processing staff.”
Mr Shelley said now was the time for Australian policy settings to deliver on the future needs of the export tourism industry to ensure we maximise the opportunity.
“We have a tourism export industry that is now worth more than $32 billion a year, the second largest Australian export earner behind iron ore and growing, so any policy realignment that improves market access is highly valuable to the Australian economy.
“So too, recommendations around supporting greater airline access and regional dispersal of the international market can only help support further growth.”
Mr Shelley said ATEC had contributed significantly to the draft report and hoped the final report, due in December, would focus the Government on positive ways it can help further grow Australia’s tourism industry.