ATEC: Labor vision positive for regions but short on investment for growth

Published on : Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has welcomed Labor’s ‘Plan for Tourism’ announced today, a policy that has particular focus on regional tourism development.


“Tourism drives growth – particularly in regional communities – and we are pleased to see that a Labor government’s plan for our industry has a strong focus on regionally located tourism infrastructure projects as well as a commitment to developing new experiences, aviation access and upgrades to existing iconic attractions,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said.


“Australia’s continued export tourism success is dependent upon our ability to offer a diverse and evolving product, and regional destinations are key to this evolution so government support is crucial.


“We also welcome Labor’s plans for a “First Nations Taskforce” which defines a collaboration between indigenous communities, tourism and government – all vital stakeholders in the successful and sustainable development of authentic Aboriginal experiences.”


Mr Shelley said visa issues, which have been a key challenge headlined by ATEC, were specifically mentioned in Labor’s policy document, elevating them as a major inhibitor to industry growth.


“Regardless of Saturday’s result, ATEC will look forward to working with relevant ministers and departments on delivering reform to Australia’s visa system in order to reduce processing times, visa fees and integrate further technological improvements that will benefit the end to end visitor experience.


“Disappointingly, yet again, we are seeing a lack of investment in international marketing for our major marketing agency, Tourism Australia. Despite the announced “$25m boost”, this money is earmarked for domestic marketing and aviation route development which will do little to grow and expand our international market share.


“During this campaign, ATEC has been calling on our political leaders to be ambitious for our industry. Despite our continued, impressive contribution to the economy, we continually witness an apathy from both sides of politics to truly invest in a growth strategy.


“As we wind down to election day, now is the time for our industry to take stock of both parties’ policies and make a decision on which is best equipped to ensure tourism continues to drive growth into the future.”


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