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Tourism ‘set to beat mining, farming, financial services’

April 13, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tourism will be one of Australia’s largest employers and wealth creators in the next decade, employing almost twice as many Australians as it does now and providing the Government with an extra AUD 8 billion in tax revenue – with no new taxes.

A new report prepared by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) in conjunction with tourism economists, Stafford Strategy, Tourism: Supercharging Australia’s Future, has also found that overall tourism spending is expected to grow by around AUD 74 billion (or 57%) to AUD 204 billion by 2026.

“What this report has clearly established is that tourism is the future of the Australian economy,” TTF chief executive Margy Osmond said.

“Tourism is growing at such a spectacular rate that in less than five years it has the potential to leapfrog manufacturing to become one of our biggest employers and completely dwarf other comparative industries like mining, agriculture and financial services.

“What we have also found is that if Governments across Australia can dig a little deeper and commit to helping reach a 1% increase in growth over and above the current 10-year forecast, the payback will be enormous.”

Among the other key findings of the report are:

  • Tourism visits are expected to grow by 31% between 2016 and 2026 to 385 million annual visits;
  • For every AUD 1 million in tourism consumption, seven jobs are created and over AUD 750,000 is contributed in GDP; and,
  • The net tax generated by the tourism industry is expected to grow from over AUD 11 billion today, to nearly AUD 18 billion in 2026 or AUD 19.6 billion with an extra 1% stretch target.

Osmond said the report however also sounded a warning that unless tourism was taken more seriously as the most effective and sustainable way to diversify beyond the resources economy, the sector will risk missing out on reaching its full potential.

“The reality is that as so many industries continue to decline, if we want our grandkids to have jobs we need this sector to continue to grow,” Osmond said.

“Tourism has unfortunately all too often been taken for granted and treated by governments at all levels and of all persuasions as a cash cow, with nowhere near the investment of comparative industries such as mining or agriculture.

“TTF wants this report to be a big wake-up call to governments that now is the time not just to invest in the sector, but also to get out of the way and reduce barriers to private sector tourism investment by simplifying development processes and reducing the time and cost of investing in Australian tourism infrastructure.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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