travelBulletin

ACCI view: a new era for tourism advocacy with the NTC

With vigorous policy debates underway on tax reform, free trade, border controls, labour market and infrastructure there has never been a more important time for tourism to have a strong voice representing its interests at the national level, writes Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, Kate Carnell AO.

by Kate Carnell AO, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

With vigorous policy debates underway on tax reform, free trade, border controls, labour market and infrastructure there has never been a more important time for tourism to have a strong voice representing its interests at the national level.

That’s why the National Tourism Council, a part of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is such a vital new voice for tourism businesses. The formation of the NTC followed a decision in 2015 by the National Tourism Alliance to have its lobbying and representative roles undertaken by a new body within the Australian Chamber. To ensure continuity, the NTC is chaired by John Hart, the former chair of the NTA and current CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia. We are thrilled to have recruited Steve Whan, a former NSW Cabinet minister, as its manager.

The NTC intends to involve state tourism industry councils, industry groups and prominent tourism and hospitality businesses in order to gain a broad and balanced input into policy development.

As Australia’s largest and most representative business organisation the Australian Chamber has a natural fit with the nation’s 266,000 tourism businesses. The new structure will give those tourism businesses the benefit of the Australian Chamber’s leadership on many issues of common interest, but with the flexibility to develop, and lobby for, specific tourism policy.

The Australian Chamber has significant policy and research capacity and leads national debate in areas such as tax reform, workplace relations and trade. That in-house skill will add great value to the new NTC and the tourism sector as it engages with the Federal Government on key issues such as the forthcoming tax reform Green Paper.

The tourism sector shares with other business a desire for a tax system that raises the revenue Australia needs in a fair and simple way, without unnecessary burden or regulation on the industry. In that sense, tourism business will directly benefit from the Australian Chamber’s profile and efforts to be part of a constructive national debate on tax reform. This will ensure that areas of potential tax reform that directly impact tourism businesses get the attention they deserve during the process.

The NTC will continue the NTA’s work on other key tax issues impacting tourism, including the Tourist Refund Scheme and passenger movement charges. It will also pursue priorities previously outlined by the NTA, including lobbying to restore the real value of Tourism Australia funding, reform of visas and entry procedures, a commitment to research and the labour force issues.

The tourism sector has tremendous opportunities on the horizon, and the Australian Chamber looks forward to working with stakeholders to make those a reality.

Subscribe To travelBulletin

Name(Required)