Jun 26, 2014

Labor forces backflip on tourism survey

Labor and industry backlash has forced the Abbott Government to resinate funding for a key tourism survey it axed just weeks ago.

Austrade will fund the Survey of Tourist Accommodation in 2014-15 but the Abbott Government has refused to confirm funding beyond this year.

Coalition backbencher Dan Tehan MP was dispatched to announce the backflip to tourism stakeholders in Canberra this week.

Mr Abbott must now accept the importance of the survey for Australia’s $107 billion tourism sector and guarantee long-term funding.

These independent statistics are critical for investors, airlines, tourism infrastructure developers and tourism operators.

This is not the first example of the Abbott Government taking its eye off the ball in tourism, only to have to go back and fix its sloppy mistakes.

Last year the Abbott Government announced the axing of tourism grants that had already been announced by the former Labor Government, only to reverse the decision after sustained Labor and industry pressure.

As a sector employing almost one million Australians and set to be one of the next boom industries, this is not good enough.

Tourism is one of 5 super-growth sectors identified by Deloitte as a key driver of jobs and prosperity over the next 10 years.

It is time the Abbott Government starts taking tourism seriously.

Appointing a Tourism Minister would be a good place to start.