Tourism Accommodation Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s handling of the tourism sector in the 2014 Budget, which was released last night.
Managing Director of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), Rodger Powell, said: “Following the release of the Commission of Audit report, TAA called on the Government to ignore the recommendations relating to tourism marketing, and to increase net spending on tourism because of its potential to boost export earnings and create sustainable jobs.
“We are pleased that the Government has maintained Tourism Australia’s resources, as they have demonstrated considerable success in growing the inbound market in recent years. We also welcome the allocation of additional funding for marketing efforts in Asian growth markets, with Chinese visitors expected to generate over $13 billion in tourism revenue by 2020.
“The announcement of the new Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure grants program with the States is particularly welcome.
“TAA did not believe that funding individual tourism and hospitality enterprises through the TQUAL and TIRF schemes was an equitable or efficient use of scarce funding. To provide funding for ‘new carpets in old motels’ was never going to drive demand, where as the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Grants programme will benefit all operators through development of projects such as convention centres, port facilities, museums, galleries, theatres and other demand-driver attractions.
“A positive example of this is the $150 million allocated to the Gold Coast to invest in infrastructure to host the Commonwealth Games. This will have a long term impact on all accommodation and tourism operators in the region as it will significantly increase the Gold Coast’s ability to attract and create future major events and conferences.
“Scott Morrison is to be congratulated for saving over $2 billion through the stopping of illegal arrivals, and the creation of the new Border Protection Agency will drive further efficiencies. We believe that some of these savings should be invested in upgrading the visa processing system and the efficiency of the overall arrivals experience to enhance Australia’s global competitiveness.
“The expenditure on road infrastructure will also benefit the tourism and hospitality sectors as some 70% of tourism is domestic and a large percentage of that is self-drive holidays.
“While overall, we are happy with the Budget and applaud Minister Robb for his efforts to support the sector, it is disappointing that the Australian Network TV service is being axed because that built awareness of Australia as a destination in our key growth markets in Asia. It will mean that greater direct funding will be required for tourism marketing in the future if we are to maintain our visibility in these highly competitive markets.”