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Published on : Friday, November 15, 2013
Australia’s tourism industry needs clarity on the Federal Government’s investment in regional tourism infrastructure following the announcement today that the next round of the Tourism Industry Regional Development Funds (TIRF) will not go ahead.
ATEC Chairman, John King OAM, said the focus on improving regional tourism needed to be maintained in order for Australia to meet its growth expectations from the tourism economy.
“We have seen today that a Deloitte report puts tourism ahead of the manufacturing industry in its future growth potential and much of this growth will depend on our ability to build strong and attractive regional tourism offerings,” Mr King said
“International visitors are looking to move beyond our major cities, particularly those on return visits, and it is crucial we build high quality products right across Australia that can meet this demand.
“The Government has said it will re-direct this funding into ‘demand-driver’ infrastructure and we urge the Government to provide details on their strategy in order to give confidence to tourism businesses.
“The ability of tourism operators to offer high quality, well structured accommodation and attractions is a crucial link in maximising the industry’s potential and we need an extra focus in regional areas which often struggle to invest in improving their offering.”
Mr King said the tourism industry faced a highly competitive international tourism marketplace where visitors demand a high level of service, amenity and quality products.
“Australia must increase its level of tourism investment in order to remain competitive internationally and building stronger infrastructure was an important step in meeting some of the supply-side challenges of our industry.
“Australia must recognise and build on its unique selling points, including our natural environment, Indigenous tourism, food and wine and these are all located in our regional areas.”
“We urge the Government to continue to invest in the future of the industry by ensuring our businesses are able to build the best tourism infrastructure Australia has to offer.”