Tourism Australia escapes the guillotine

In Government, Media and Communications, National Headlines

Tourism, hospitality industry fares well in budget [updated]

Both the National Tourism Alliance (NTA) and Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) are pleased with the Abbott government’s treatment of the tourism and hospitality industry in the 2014-15 budget.

Of particular interest to the AAA is the government’s decision to reject recommendations made by the National Commission of Audit to halve Tourism Australia’s funding.

On the contrary, the government body has received a boost in funding for the purpose of marketing Australia overseas.

NTA chairman, John Hart believes growth in tourism and hospitality will have an overall positive effect on the Australian economy – particularly as the industry has a huge potential for growth over the next 20 years.

“We know that for every dollar tourism earns directly in the Australian economy, it value adds an additional 92 cents to other parts of the economy.

“This means that if tourism continues to grow and invest, there will be a very positive flow on effect to the whole economy through stimulating businesses, creating jobs at all levels, and bringing in dollars from overseas,” he added.

The AAA’s chief executive officer, Richard Munro said: “The accommodation industry is set to receive a tremendous boost from the news that Tourism Australia will be retained as Australia’s dedicated international tourism marketing organisation with its funding maintained.

“While other sectors were targeted for cuts by the government, the budget outcome is clear recognition of the importance of tourism to the Australian economy.

“It enables Tourism Australia to continue to carry out the valuable task of increasing visitor numbers to Australia,” he added.

The greater number of tourists that visit Australia, the better the nation will fare – it will see the tourism and hospitality sectors employ more people and inject more money and activity into local economies, especially in regional areas.

“By giving these businesses the support of having a national marketing agency, it means that for the Government’s investment of around $130 million a year, we see international visitors spend around $30 billion in Australia,” said Hart.

“With the growing number of visitors from China, it’s a real vote of confidence in the tourism industry for the Government to boost its existing investment in improving the experience for Chinese visitors, and promoting Australia’s brand at Australia Week in China.”

The NTA has also welcomed the government’s allocation of over $43 million for tourism related infrastructure across the nation’s states and territories.

According to the NTA, Australia’s tourism and hospitality industry is worth $41 billion and employs around one million Australians.

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