Published on : Thursday, June 25, 2015
“Tourism and hospitality can be our fastest growing sector in coming decades – particularly in the Great North – but only if we have the right visa settings, attract more investment and provide better access to skilled labour,” Mr Robb said.
“The tourism industry employs almost one million Australians and is our largest services export valued at $30 billion. Today’s White Paper recognises the importance of tourism not only to the development of Northern Australia but to the Australian economy as a whole.”
“In particular, reforms to visitor visas including the introduction of a 10-year validity visa for Chinese visitors, roll-out of e-lodgement for China and India, trialling a fast track service and enabling Chinese language lodgement of visitor visa applications, will ensure Australia is well placed to capture a growing share of these markets.”
“Similarly, improvements to the vital Working Holiday Maker program including allowing backpackers to work for 12 (instead of six) months with a single northern employer, and granting a small number a second year if they work in northern tourism, will greatly assist the tourism sector that faces 56,000 job vacancies this year. Backpackers spend on average $13,000 during their stay, so these measures will increase tourism expenditure, particularly in regional areas.”
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