The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has issued a challenge to all of Australia’s political parties to release comprehensive policy plans to support the future growth of Australia’s strongly performing visitor economy.
TTF released its Federal Election Manifesto last week at its premier tourism industry and policy conference – Outlook 2016 – in Melbourne last Friday.
The Manifesto calls for action from the next Federal Government to:
- Reduce the Passenger Movement Charge into a genuine cost-recovery measure for passenger facilitation at Australia’s international gateways;
- Slash visitor visa costs and application processing times to make them globally competitive;
- Increase investment in Tourism Australia and its destination marketing campaigns to attract more high-yield international visitors;
- Support industry in securing its future workforce and address skills challenges;
- Develop the visitor economy infrastructure needed to support more visitors to our cities and regional and rural tourism destinations;
- Promote investment in major public transport projects that will reduce congestion and improve liveability in our cities; and
- Improve the visitor experience at the border through better focused customer service and adoption of new frontline technology.
“Any political party that wants to support more jobs and a stronger economy must have a strategy to support the growth of our visitor economy, and that strategy should be released before the election,” said TTF chief executive Margy Osmond.
“We now have less than three weeks until Election Day and pre-polling starts today – I’m issuing a challenge to all political parties, but especially to Labor and the Coalition, to ‘put out your tourism policies’.
“The piecemeal approach we have seen so far of making tourism-related announcements on the run as part of the campaign is hardly the way to instil confidence in the industry. We need to see a holistic approach to growing the visitor economy and robust plans from a potential new government.
“The Coalition’s commitment to delay the backpacker tax and review working holiday visas and Labor’s promise to audit visas for our key tourist markets and a greater tourism commitment in the Northern Australia, are positive outcomes but we need to see the full picture. The time has come to put out real and long term plans for this important industry.”
Edited by Peter Needham