The Coalition’s failure to release a national policy for tourism is costing the Northern Territory, with the latest State of the Industry report revealing that international visitor numbers are down.
In the year 2015-16, international visitation increased in every state and territory, except for the Northern Territory, which saw a 2.9 per cent decrease.
The Coalition has consistently failed to give tourism the prominence it needs within its policy agenda.
Tourism employs more than one million Australians directly and indirectly and has recently overtaken coal to become one of our largest exports.
Deloitte has identified tourism as one of five super growth sectors for the nation. Last year international visitor numbers reached 7.2 million, which is a record high.
With visitor numbers to Australia expected to increase in coming years, the Coalition must invest appropriately to ensure all states and territories benefit from this growth.
During the election Labor committed to investing $1 billion from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to a Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Labor understands that by investing in tourism we grow both job opportunities and the local economies of communities all around Australia.
Indeed, tonight’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, held for the first time in Darwin, will showcase the excellence and hard work of tourism operators from around the nation.
It is an important opportunity to recognise the important contribution the tourism sector makes, not just to our economy, but to the vibrancy of our cities and regions.