PETER Shelley, managing director ATEC
Federal elections offer an opportunity to put a spotlight on to the big issues facing our industry and with the countdown underway, ATEC is making a big push to get our industry recognised.
Tourism has always suffered from low political visibility, so this year we have launched the #tourismdrivesgrowth social media campaign to not only highlight what we want, but to act as a beacon for our members, and the broader industry, to rally behind.
What is clear, is that our industry is a strong contributor and one that has a bright future, but we deserve more government support. While the Federal Government provides funding for international marketing through Tourism Australia, the industry needs more marketing money and policy changes and investment that will help to spur on our success.
ATEC is calling for:
- An additional $80m a year as a minimum funding boost for Tourism Australia to keep pace with competing countries in attracting premium high yielding international travellers.
- Streamlining Australia’s visa system to improve application times and visitor experience with a focus on key growth markets
- Reform our visa categories to reflect traveller needs with multi-entry, five and 10 year visas for selected growth markets
- Freeze the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) and restructure into a tiered system with short, long and premium variations
- Develop Industry Capability — cultivating a sophisticated, market focused industry by employing industry development pathways
- Funding for a tourism industry growth centre in line with other industry sectors
- An additional (minimum) $12.5m in funding for the Export Marketing Development Grants (EMDG) program
- Introduce premium processing and multiple entry visas
- Privatise the Tourism Refund Scheme (TRS)
- Commit to maintaining Tourism Research Australia’s independence by funding to deliver high quality data
- Work with industry to enable 100% connectivity for visitors
The thing is, investment in our industry creates big returns. For every dollar spent on tourism it creates 81 cents in other parts of the Australian economy which is a higher multiplier than the mining, agriculture and financial services sectors. And, importantly, 43 cents of every tourism dollar is spent in regional Australia.
We are a very productive industry, we contribute economically, environmentally, culturally and socially and we have a very bright future. A little investment in our industry can help to further boost the employment opportunities and economic contribution tourism is making to cities, towns and rural communities across Australia.
If you would like to join our #tourismdrivesgrowth campaign and remind MPs, Senators, political parties of tourism’s contribution you can go to our LinkedIn page (search for Australian Tourism Export Council). Together we can take our message to Canberra.