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Tourism Sidelined In Government’s New Industry Agenda

October 16, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

The Federal Government’s new Industry, Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, released yesterday, thoroughly ignores the success of Australia’s tourism industry and fails to build on the significant and growing economic contribution of export tourism.
“It is extraordinary that, in outlining its plan to ‘seize new opportunities’, the Abbott Government has completely overlooked the $30 billion and growing export tourism industry – one of our best bets for successful future growth,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.

“Export tourism is already our second largest service sector export earner and there is enormous potential to expand this even further given the growing demand from new markets in Asia.

“The Agenda outlines a plan to encourage entrepreneurship and building new markets and products but completely fails to recognise the opportunities that currently exist  and we are dismayed by the lack of support for the tourism industry.”

Mr Shelley said ATEC had long advocated for industry support from a research and development style agency that could help guide tourism businesses to implement improved methods and build greater capacity to deliver high quality tourism services of the future.

“This kind of supply-side support is a crucial plank in ensuring Australia is a competitive destination able to catch hold of the growing demand for international travel and it is disappointing we have been overlooked in the Government’s Agenda.

“Our industry consultation has identified two key critical challenges the industry faces – people and the level of service quality and infrastructure including access, telecoms, experiences, products and attractions – and it was clear tourism businesses see a need for an independent agency to help guide them.

Mr Shelley said that tourism was recently identified in a Deloitte’s report as one of five key drivers of Australia’s post-resources boom export economy and needed to be supported to maximise the economic opportunity.

“Tourism businesses don’t have the resources to apply innovation the way that information and communication technology, manufacturing and mining industries are, and we believe there is much to be gained in supporting the industry to innovate in a similar way.

“While building demand for Australian travel experiences is extremely valuable we must also be supporting tourism businesses to ensure that demand is met with high quality supply-side products or risk our future success.”

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