THE Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) acknowledges the solid support for tourism in the 2014-15 federal budget.
VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith says the government has identified tourism as one of five National Investment Priorities, and despite tight fiscal parameters the budget contains a number of initiatives to strengthen the tourism sector.
- $43 million for a new Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme;
- $10 million in new funding for the Australia-China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme.
Ms Smith said she was pleased to see funding allocations for the industry’s key visitor growth market, China.
“Asia-ready product marketing is an issue VTIC has aggressively advocated for and we congratulate the Treasurer on heeding VTIC’s advice on this important issue. I hope that this first budget from the Abbott Government is an indication of its ongoing commitment to the tourism industry, which is set to be one of Australia’s economic growth engines over the next 20 years. This includes vital infrastructure support,” says Ms Smith.
Also welcome is the decision to freeze the Passenger Movement Charge and provide multiple entry three year Visas for Chinese business visitors.
“Importantly the budget reaffirms the government’s funding support for Tourism Australia which is vital to ensuring Australia’s tourism marketing capitalises on emerging opportunities in the competitive global marketplace,” says Ms Smith.
“With almost 1,000,000 jobs linked to Australian tourism, this support comes at an important time in the sector’s continuing development.
“The budget’s focus on developing tourism infrastructure, improving visitor experiences and raising tourism visitor expenditure is appropriate.
“It also complements recent announcements in the Victorian state budget that are focused on enhancing tourism marketing and improving visitor amenities.”
The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak body for Victoria’s tourism and events industry, providing one united industry voice. Tourism and events are growth industries for Victoria and contribute $19.1 billion to the state economy each year and employ more than 201,000 people.