Cutting funding to Tourism Australia would dramatically impact business, local jobs and investment prospects for Australia, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the proposal, in the National Commission of Audit report, to cut funding to Tourism Australia is a dumb idea.
“Tourism Australia’s work is helping the tourism industry deliver $42.3 billion in direct GDP each year,” said Mr Morrison.
“While there are a number of constructive suggestions in this report, halving Tourism Australia funding is not one of them.
“Only the government can market Australia as a destination to the world.
“Tourism Australia is recognised around the world as one the most effective national tourism marketing bodies and must remain a statutory body governed by experts.
“The reality is that international visitors spend $80 million across Australia every single day.
“It is an industry which supports 900,000 jobs and 280,000 businesses.
“For every dollar earned in tourism, another 87 cents washes around the rest of the economy.
“If adopted, this proposal would undo years of investment that have positioned the industry on a growth trajectory.
“The Australian government has identified tourism as one Australia’s key economic strengths. This recommendation flies in the face of this growth strategy.
“With the decline of the mining and manufacturing sectors, Australia needs the visitor economy to deliver sustainable growth and jobs into the future.
“Only our competitor countries would benefit from Australia halving its international marketing efforts.
“Tourism is Australia’s largest services export, generating $28.9 billion in international visitor expenditure each year.
“The upcoming budget needs to position Australia for growth and cutting funding to Tourism Australia is an anti-growth measure.”