Australia’s $110 billion tourism industry can play a central role in the federal government’s economic diplomacy, helping to deliver job and business opportunities across the country, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
The federal government has today launched two charters as part of its Economic Diplomacy Policy, which set out the expertise available to Australian businesses and state and territory governments.
TTF Acting Chief Executive Trent Zimmerman said the industry’s contribution is already significant, but there is also tremendous potential.
“Tourism directly employs 540,000 people in more than 280,000 tourism businesses across Australia, and supports a further 385,000 jobs nationwide,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“It generates $110 billion in expenditure and $30 billion worth of exports each year.
“It has also been identified as a sector where Australia has natural advantages that can be leveraged to provide future prosperity and job opportunities, delivering significant additional GDP growth.
“The tourism industry is pleased to see Tourism Australia named in the charters as an agency that can provide expert assistance to tourism businesses seeking to grow their international presence and this is why TTF advocated for Tourism Australia to be incorporated into the DFAT portfolio.
“However, it is vital the agency is provided with sufficient resources to continue with its current marketing, distribution and product and investment development activities, as well as being able to lend its expertise to tourism businesses and state and territory governments.
“Today’s announcement should focus the government on reversing the decline in Tourism Australia’s funding that has been underway for several years.
“International tourism marketing delivers a return on investment of $16 million for every $1 million and plays a critical role in driving visitation to Australia so there’s a strong case for additional government investment.
“That would also attract matching industry investment, leading to even greater reach and frequency for Australia’s international marketing and promotion.”