This time last week, accom’s representative bodies were lining up to praise Labor’s tourism plan in anticipation of a new government.
Now, with dust settling on an unlikely Coalition election win, the industry has been quick to welcome the Morrison camp back.
Richard Munro, the outgoing chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia and most vocal opponent of elements of Labor’s approach, summed it up best when he said: “The result of the very hard fought election caught nearly everyone by surprise.”
Mr Munro added: “The best indicator of the sentiment of the result was the Australian Stock Market, which recorded a $33 billion spike on the Monday this week immediately post the Federal election.
“We congratulate the Morrison government who went into the election with a economic plan that supported businesses having a go.”
Mr Munro highlighted Labor’s wage increase initiatives as particularly worrying to the industry, describing the proposals as “out of step with business, as was the impact of removing negative gearing on property, which would have also hurt investors in our industry”.
Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Australian Tourism Export Council, which last week broadly welcomed Labor’s proposals for the industry, both expressed their support for the returning government.
“Tourism Accommodation Australia congratulates the Coalition, and in particular the prime minister, on its election win,” said the organisation’s new chief executive, Michael Johnson, who took the reins on Monday.
“We look forward to the announcement of the new cabinet and will be working closely with the government over the next three years on issues of concern to our members including unregulated accommodation, training opportunities and the temporary skilled visa system.”
Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Peter Shelley welcomed Scott Morrison’s return to government, while warning that the council would continue to push for greater investment in tourism marketing.
“ATEC congratulates the Coalition on its election win and looks forward to working with the new Morrison Government in advocating for policy settings that will help drive future growth of the tourism industry,” he said.
“ATEC has always been committed to working with whichever party forms Government in order to highlight the value of our industry and the opportunities it brings to our economy.
“The Coalition’s tourism policy committed to deliver improved arrival and visa processing systems which we welcome, as visa processing times have been a major challenge for our industry and an issue we’ve been highlighting for some time.
“The additional support for airport upgrades and a genuine investment in industry supported tourism icon infrastructure development is to be applauded along with small business tax breaks which were announced in the budget.
“We will continue to argue for additional marketing funds which, we believe, are desperately required for Tourism Australia to maintain its world-leading tourism marketing program in order to continue to sustain our global market share.”
Mr Munro also highlighted concerns with the Coalition’s tourism approach, saying: “We will be calling on the Morrison Government to adopt the Labor policy of banning rate parity clauses and they have indicated no opposition to this, but we need the returned Morrison government to take action to protect our industry.
“We will also be advocating for the new tourism minister to implement the Coalitions tourism policy by adequately funding Tourism Australia to continue to drive more customers to holiday in Australia and investing in regional tourism infrastructure to name a few initiatives.