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Tourism could be a clincher in looming Vic election

October 15, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Tourism concerns could make or break politicians in the coming Victorian state election, set for 29 November 2014 and likely to be a close result.

Politicians’ promises are already flowing thick and fast as the election draws nearer, with a host of new minor parties, also referred to as “micro-parties”, in a position to possibly influence the next Victorian parliament.

Whatever the influence of micro-parties, no one can afford to ignore the influence of tourism – least of all Victoria’s politicians. National tourism industry group Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has been doing its sums and has found that the 10 seats most dependent on tourism for direct employment are held by margins of less than 4.7%.

TTF has released its Victorian Tourism Business Count & Employment Atlas, which shows the vital role tourism plays in generating economic activity and jobs across the state.

With the Victorian election little more than six weeks away, TTF is also releasing its tourism priorities document, Victorian Tourism: Backing Our Strengths – An Agenda for the Victorian Government, which details the key projects and investments required to ensure Victoria’s tourism industry http://www.tourismphilippines.com.au/continues to grow.

The TTF Victorian Tourism Business Count & Employment Atlas (the Atlas) breaks down direct tourism employment by state electoral district, clearly demonstrating the importance of tourism to every piece of Victoria, the TTF explains.

The Atlas also includes a count of tourism businesses by industry, while individual profiles show jobs and tourism-related businesses by electorate.

TTF chief executive Margy Osmond says tourism accounts for at least 3.6% of employment in every single electoral district across Victoria.

“Visitors are encouraged to ‘love every piece of Victoria’ and the Atlas shows why the Victorian government should love the tourism industry,” Osmond said.

“Tourists spend more than AUD 53 million a day across Victoria and the Atlas shows that expenditure supports 70,000 tourism businesses and more than 124,000 direct tourism jobs, while tourism also supports a further 79,000 indirect jobs in Victoria.

“These figures demonstrate the importance of the visitor economy to every piece of Victoria and mean that tourism must be high on the agenda of all political parties as we head towards the state election on 29 November.

“Of the 10 seats most dependent on tourism for direct employment, four are held by margins of less than 4.7% and with just one seat separating the major parties heading into the poll, every vote is vital.”

The crucial 10 seats are: 

  1. Melbourne 2,700 7.2%
  2. Ovens Valley 1,700 7%
  3. Nepean 1,300 6.5%
  4. Sunbury 2,000 6.5%
  5. Eildon 1,700 6.4%
  6.  Macedon 1,600 6.4%
  7. Brunswick 2,100 6.1%
  8. Essendon 2,200 6.1%
  9. Footscray 1,700 6%
  10. Gippsland East 1,400 6%

TOTAL 124,400 4.9%

“Direct tourism jobs account for at least 6% of employment in all of those 10 electorates, meaning politicians who ignore the tourism vote do so at their peril,” Osmond explains.

“Of those 10 electorates, four are in the inner city, two are outer metropolitan and four in are regional areas, providing another indication of the importance of tourism’s contribution to the economy across Victoria.”

Osmond said tourism investment should also be a priority for the Victorian government.

“Tourism generates AUD 23.9 billion a year in expenditure across the state and contributed AUD 19.6 billion to Victoria’s Gross State Product in GDP in 2012-13 – a 5.7% share of the Victorian economy,” Osmond said.

“In addition to its current contribution, tourism is also an economic development strategy for Victoria that can help to create more jobs and business opportunities across the state.

“Few, if any, other industries have the geographic breadth of tourism, which generates economic activity in every piece of Victoria.

“As such, it deserves greater support from government for tourism marketing and investment in critical tourism infrastructure.

“Our election priorities document, Victorian Tourism: Backing Our Strengths – An Agenda for the Victorian Government, includes an eight-point plan focussing on three key areas:

GROW DEMAND FOR TRAVEL TO VICTORIA

  1. Increase tourism marketing funding by at least 10%
  2. Substantially increase investment in business events
  3. Confirm and increase the forward funding envelope for major events

BOOST INVESTMENT IN TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE

  1. Commit to an expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
  2. Invest in strategic nature-based tourism infrastructure
  3. Work with the private sector to develop new tourism products in and around national parks

ENHANCE THE VISITOR TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE

  1. Improve land transport links to Melbourne Airport
  2. Redesign the visitor myki product to make it cost-effective and easy to use

“As a sector that already supports more than 200,000 jobs across Victoria and one that has been identified as a super-growth industry for Australia, we are encouraging all parties to make tourism a priority ahead of the Victorian election.”

Edited by : Peer Needham

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