The 2018 Budget is a missed opportunity for tourism, with the Coalition Government failing to restore the $35 million in funding it cut from Tourism Australia last year.
Investing in Tourism Australia is a no-brainer.
The fact is that every dollar spent on tourism advertising and marketing generates a return on investment of $16.
What’s more, tourism has been identified by Deloitte as one of five super growth sectors and it employs more than one million Australians.
Tourism plays a critical role in the nation’s economy and its success is underpinned by the hard work of many organisations and businesses.
The sector and the many communities whose local economies rely on tourism, deserve proper support and investment from the Government.
While the announcement of funding for regional tourism is welcome, this comes far too late.
Upon coming to office, the Coalition Government cut two of Federal Labor’s successful programs – the T-Qual Grants Programme and the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund.
These programs supported industry development by providing grants for projects that would attract both interstate and international visitors and encourage them to lengthen their stays.
Communities across the nation benefited immensely from these programs.
While the tourism sector is performing well in Australia, the fact is that a number of challenges remain including around regional dispersal and extending the average stay.
The continued success of tourism relies on a Government that supports it and the Coalition should prove it does by restoring funding to Tourism Australia.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.