Today I will be speaking to the Australian Regional Tourism Network 2016 Convention in Roma, Queensland, about the importance of Commonwealth investment in regional tourism.
Tourism is at the heart of Queensland’s economy.
It is a $23 billion industry that directly and indirectly employs more than 220,000 Queenslanders.
Communities across regional Queensland depend on tourism for their livelihood, with more than 60 per cent of tourism related businesses located in these areas.
Despite these facts, the Coalition has failed to release a plan for investment in Queensland’s tourism industry, which is on track to become a super-growth sector.
Instead the Coalition wants to tax the sector more through the Backpacker Tax and over-collect on fees through an increase in the Passenger Movement Charge.
Since the Coalition Government announced its flawed review into the Backpacker Tax, both the number of backpacker visitors to Queensland, and the number of nights they stay have seriously declined.
The Federal Government has a responsibility to support this vital industry, which contributes so much to our nation.