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Industry ready to rebuild alongside new Minister

Priority areas for action outlined as sector looks to recoup pre-COVID tourism success

The tourism sector has been quick out of the block to welcome the appointment of the Albanese Government’s new Minister for Tourism & Trade, Senator the Hon. Don Farrell.

Outlining priority areas for action which will support the industry in rebuilding its $45 billion pre-COVID annual export success Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Managing Director, Peter Shelley said Minister Farrell has been a strong supporter of the industry over many years and has a grounded understanding of the fundamental opportunities and challenges facing the rebuild of our tourism export industry.

“We congratulate the Minister and his team and look forward to discussing our feedback and opportunities for tourism’s success.” 

“Prior to COVID, tourism was amongst the top five Australian exports and our position as a leading export industry remains a significant opportunity for the national economy. 

“With a few small investments and the right policy settings, export tourism can make a huge contribution to Australia’s economic success providing jobs and bringing prosperity to regional communities.”  

Mr Shelley said over the past two years, ATEC has consulted significantly with the export tourism industry and identified a number of issues that the Government can immediately address in helping to get businesses back to market effectively including: 

Visa policy and processing – using our visa system to drive greater visitation through short-term fee waivers for categories including Working Holiday Makers and fixing delays in the visa processing system which are damaging the industry’s restart. 

Funding to re-engage with international markets – supporting proven and experienced export businesses with marketing subsidies to promote their products in-market. 

Aviation access – build partnerships with carriers to support the return of seat capacity for markets that are aligned with high-value international visitors. 

Workforce & skills – supporting the rebuilding of the tourism workforce through attracting and re-training staff and looking at ways to supplement our local workforce. 

“Export tourism has a proven history of success and the signs are that international travel will continue to rebound over the coming 12 months but we must have our industry in top condition to meet the needs of a post-COVID traveller,” Mr Shelley said. 

“The opportunities for our export tourism businesses to regrow are strong and their success can be assured with a few simple but well-placed policy tweaks and investments. 

“Minister Farrell has been a strong supporter of our industry over many years and has a grounded understanding of the fundamental opportunities and challenges facing the rebuild of our tourism export industry. 

“We congratulate the Minister and his team and look forward to discussing our feedback and opportunities for tourism’s success.” 

Echoing Mr Shelley’s comments, Tourism Council WA has also welcomed the appointment of the new Federal Tourism and Trade Minister with CEO, Evan Hall saying he was looking forward to working with Senator Farrell to implement the new government’s $48 million federal tourism election commitments in Western Australia.

This includes the $8 million commitment to quality tourism development programs,  $10 million for marketing to attract workers to tourism, and $10 million to assist businesses back into international markets.

Tourism Council WA will work with the new federal tourism minister to implement the $8 million commitment to develop accredited and award-winning tourism businesses in WA,” Mr Hall said.

“The delivery of these commitments by the new Federal Government will assist WA tourism businesses to recover following years without international visitors and difficulties attracting staff,” Mr Hall said.

“We will work with the new Federal Government on the WA tourism industry’s outstanding policy priorities, particularly climate change and attracting international visitors, backpackers, and students to travel and work in Australia.”

Mr Hall said the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth was one of Tourism Council WA’s top federal advocacy priorities and he was looking forward to working with the Federal Government to progress this project, adding his organisation anticipated a productive future working with newly-appointed ministers on local issues relating to Western Australia’s tourism industry.

 

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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