Tourism businesses still await critical government support
WITH JUST a week until the Federal Election, Australia’s export tourism industry remains concerned with the lack of political focus on key government supports which will help the industry’s restart.
“We are nearing the end of the election campaign and some of the key issues facing tourism businesses are yet to be addressed,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said.
“Prior to COVID, tourism exports were a $45 billion industry which drove economic prosperity and jobs, which are particularly crucial to rural and regional areas of Australia.
“The industry remains particularly concerned about the challenges and roadblocks which are proving to be a hindrance to the industry’s restart and which will only get worse over time if left unaddressed, including our severe workforce shortages which is an issue that has been largely ignored by both parties.
“Whichever party wins next week, we need the next Federal Government to really get behind our industry and provide a solid set of actions which will be focused on removing barriers to success and turbo charging industry recovery.”
ATEC’s #itstimefortourism: Recover, Rebuild, Regrow paper calls for key supports, investments and policy considerations which the industry needs to be addressed as the industry begins to rebuild.
Restart strong – increasing funding for Tourism Australia, extra funding and better targeting of the EMDG program, visa innovation and subsidies for businesses to attend trade events.
Workforce Resilience – extend the WHM fee waiver, invest in tour guide training, the development of an employment and skills online platform and more flexible student visas to allow longer working hours..
Capability – programs to support training and capability building, indigenous product development and building regional capacity.
Distribution and Innovation – innovations for payment processes, promoting leading edge business practices, itinerary development and sustainability.
“The export tourism industry supply chain is long and complicated and each cog in the wheel needs to work efficiently in order for our visitors to have a great holiday experience and we therefore need to ensure that while we are driving demand, our businesses have the capability to deliver great service when they get here," Mr Shelley said.
“As we continue to increase our inbound visitor numbers month on month, supporting business capacity, rebuilding and re-skilling our tourism workforce will be crucial to Australia's future tourism success.
“After two very long years of border closures It’s time for tourism.”