Minister view: Govt supporting tourism

Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Government supporting tourism

Australia is welcoming record numbers of international tourists who are staying longer and spending more than ever before.

Last year 8.81 million international tourists visited Australia and spent a record $41.3 billion. However we — and I’m sure you do too — want more. More tourists mean more business, more jobs and a better economy.

That’s why the Turnbull Coalition Government is working to grow the tourism industry. The 2018-19 Budget delivers for the industry, with record funding for Tourism Australia, a new $45 million program to build regional tourism infrastructure and the continuation of the Approved Destination Status Scheme which allows Chinese tourists to travel to Australia in guided groups.

The Budget measures build on the Turnbull Coalition Government’s recent announcement to create the first ever Federal Government-funded business events bid fund.

The Boosting Business Events Bid Fund, to be managed by Tourism Australia, will help provide Australia with a competitive advantage when bidding to secure new high-value international business events. The impact of business events on both the industry and wider economy is far reaching, with these visitors often extending their visit to regional parts of Australia and likely to return for a holiday in the future. In 2017, more than one million international business events visitors spent $4.75 billion in Australia.

Tourism Australia is targeting key markets to attract more visitors to Australia with record funding from the Turnbull Coalition Government. One such market that holds significant opportunity for tourism is the United States. Whilst Australia ranks highly among Americans in terms of desirability and awareness of our tourism offerings, we lag behind our competitors when it comes to actual bookings. That’s why earlier this year TA launched its Dundee campaign, the largest marketing investment we’ve made in the US, to address this conversion challenge.

The campaign — with the help of Australia’s stars such as Chris Hemsworth — puts Australia at the forefront of travellers’ minds in the same way that the original Crocodile Dundee film did 30 years ago. While it is undoubtedly still very early stages, the feedback we have received from both industry and media has been overwhelmingly positive.

These are just a few examples of how the Turnbull Coalition Government is working to grow Australian tourism as we move closer towards reaching the target of over $115 billion in overnight visitor spend by 2020.

Of course, this will only be possible with the continued efforts and support from members of the industry, who are its lifeblood and such a critical part of its current success.