Tourism ministers unite to support visitor economy

The Tourism Ministers’ Meeting (TMM) in Adelaide this week brought Australia's Federal, State and Territory tourism ministers together from across the political spectrum, jointly affirming key targets for the industry.

HOSTED by Federal Trade Minister Don Farrell and South Australian Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs Zoe Bettison, the first face-to-face meeting of tourism ministers under the Albanese Government laid out the next steps to support the recovery of Australia’s visitor economy.

During the meeting, the ministers affirmed their commitment to returning the visitor economy to pre-COVID expenditure levels of $166 billion by 2024.

Federal Trade Minister Don Farrell stated, “I thank state and territory tourism ministers for their collaborative spirit and hard work plotting a path forward today”.

“The industry is bouncing back strongly,” he said, adding that through a collaborative approach and the empowerment of key stakeholders, “we are mapping a way forward that will benefit all Australians and the broader economy”.

The ministers agreed on a collaborate workplan for delivery over the next 12-18 months, which will include working together on solutions to ongoing challenges in the aviation sector, as well as a focus on rebuilding a strong, skilled workforce.

Under the new plan, ministers will also work with their education colleagues to fast-track mutual recognition of tourism qualifications and ensure tourism training is included in fee-free TAFE programs.

The short-term plan also includes a focus on insurance, sustainability, Indigenous tourism, tourism in national parks and accessible tourism.

Longer term, the ministers also affirmed their collective support for the THRIVE 2030 strategy mapped out over the last few years, which aims to grow expenditure to $230 billion by the end of the decade along with a regional spending target of $100 billion.

CATO Managing Director Brett Jardine praised the plan, saying the Government “remains engaged with CATO around challenges faced by the industry”.

Dean Long, AFTA CEO, said the THRIVE 2030 targets are crucial to the continued bipartisan approach to travel and tourism, noting that AFTA Director Laura Ruffles from Corporate Travel Management is one of nine industry leaders in the THRIVE Industry Advisory Group, which oversees the strategy’s ongoing implementation.

“AFTA’s ongoing engagement with responsible Ministers and directly with Treasury on workforce issues will continue as the Government develops its white paper,” Long said.

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