Full Tourism Policy
Tourism is Australia’s number one services export. In 2016-17 the tourism sector generated over $135 billion in visitor spending contributing 3.2% to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and directly employing more than 598,000 Australians. Tourism employs more people than the mining; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and financial and insurance services industries collectively.
Over the next five years Australia has set ambitious targets to generate more visitor expenditure producing 85,000 new jobs and boosting the income of all Australian households. Tourism has enormous potential for future growth – provided the policy settings are favourable to support growth in a highly competitive international market. Investment from government would enhance the opportunity of the visitor economy so that Australia can enjoy the jobs, growth and export income that the sector can generate.
Australian Chamber – Tourism, representing state and territory tourism industry councils and national industry associations with an interest in tourism, has identified a number of key policy initiatives for the government’s consideration in order to maximise the potential of the visitor economy.
Australian Chamber – Tourism advocates for policies that will:
Improve international competitiveness
- Create an Industry Growth Centre for the visitor economy within existing resources
- Accelerate visa reform, including rapid rollout of streamlined and online visa processes
- Reform the Tourist Refund Scheme
- Lower visa fees
- Restore Tourism Australia’s funding in real terms
Develop Australian product
- Reinstate product development coordination role within Tourism Australia
- Develop a Visitor Economy Development Fund
- Commit funding to a program that develops infrastructure to drive demand
- Prioritise tourism and regional connectivity in the Regional Growth Fund
- Ensure there is timely, accurate data available to be used to assess and grow the tourism sector
Invest in labour and skills
- Implement the recommendations of the Austrade Tourism Labour and Skills Roundtable
- Ensure skilled migration is an available and accessible option for employers
- Implement a more flexible and accessible temporary skilled labour agreement process
- Reverse the downward trend in apprentice and trainee numbers
- Encourage more students to pursue vocational education