Full Tourism Policy
In the financial year 2018–19, Australia generated $60.8 billion in direct tourism gross domestic product (GDP). This represents a growth of 3.5 per cent over the previous year – faster than the national GDP growth. Tourism also directly employed 666,000 Australians making up 5 per cent of Australia’s workforce. Tourism also brought $39.1 billion in exports and is currently the fourth largest exporting industry.
At a time when many Australian exports are struggling, tourism is booming. At a time of major structural change in employment and investment, Australia needs tourism to continue to grow and employ.
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
- Prioritise improving of the facilitation of passenger movements in and to Australian ports
- Improve the connectedness between ports and tourism destinations by road and rail to facilitate dispersal
- 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 a coordination role around domestic promotion and product development within Tourism Australia to ensure development aligns with strategy
- Continue funding the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) and the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programs and expand access to all regional funds to develop infrastructure and drive tourism demand
- Develop a Visitor Economy Development Fund which includes capacity building as eligible projects
- Integrate initiatives that build capacity in long term tourism strategies
- Ensure there is timely, individual, predictive data available to be used to assess and grow the tourism sector
Invest in labour and skills
- Continue and expand the Working holiday maker program
- 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