JAYSON Westbury, chief executive AFTA
Australians have decided the outcome of the 46th Federal Parliament in last month’s election and in spite of all of the polls leading into the contest, Prime Minister Morrison and the Coalition have formed a government with a majority in the lower house, in a win that many did not believe would happen.
At the time of writing this piece the full details of the new Morrison government had not been declared but the good message for the travel and tourism industry is that this new government will be a government that supports our industry.
Prime Minister Morrison has a tourism pedigree having been the Managing Director of Tourism Australia for several years and we can hope going forward that our sector will be on his mind in a positive way as policies and concepts are further developed and implemented.
For our friends in the Labor Party, no doubt there will be some sobering moments as they look back at how things could have been different.
A new opposition leader will soon emerge, though at the time of writing this, the result is not known. It is difficult to know which way it will go as the Labor party has a new system for electing a leader.
For the travel and tourism industry, we remain connected to many of the Labor members who have been re-elected and will continue to work with both sides of politics.
The other important element in this outcome is the policies the Coalition campaigned on, including personal tax cuts, should flow on to support the travel industry in particular.
Consumer confidence appears to be holding and may improve as the dust settles on this election and markets look to be reacting well. All this points to more money in Aussies’ pockets and good returns for retirees which will enable many people to consider a holiday.
I feel that with this election now behind us, we should see a continued thirst for travel, both corporate and leisure, over the remainder of this year and into 2020.
On a more current industry matter, the NTIA 2019 is full steam ahead and many will be making the journey to the Qantas Campus in Mascot to present before the judging panel in the quest for the win.
This year we have the biggest program ever, with the addition of new categories and of course for the first time the CATO Awards will be incorporated into the NTIA judging process and awards night on 20 July.
Each year we do all that we can to ensure that NTIA remains relevant and valued across the entire Australian travel industry and I have no doubt that 2019 will be a terrific year for all involved.