Tomorrow morning I will be on the Gold Coast along with Peter Dutton being interviewed for the Today Show.
The Today Show regularly travels to different destinations across Australia, promoting tourism and the jobs that this creates for local communities and the economy.
The Gold Coast is, of course, an iconic tourist destination in Australia and it is the hardworking locals that underpin this success.
However just this week the Coalition’s Tourism Minister, Steven Ciobo, has blamed the Gold Coast tourism sector for a decrease in bed nights and spend, saying they ‘must do better.’
It is astonishing that a Member of Parliament, let alone a Minister, would take aim at the very community they represent.
The fact is that the Coalition Government has failed to give the tourism sector the support it needs.
It has cut $35 million from Tourism Australia’s budget over the forwards, despite the fact that for every dollar invested in tourism promotion the return on investment is 16:1.
At the same time the Coalition Government will also receive a $410 million increase in revenue from increasing visa application charges.
This is precisely the opposite of what the tourism sector asked for to make visa fees competitive with other potential destinations.
It also comes on top of their increase in the Passenger Movement Charge last year, which broke an election commitment they gave just months earlier.
It is good that the Today Show is promoting tourism on the Gold Coast.
The Tourism Minister and local Member Steven Ciobo should give it a try.
THURSDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER, 2017