Australian Chamber – Tourism, the peak body representing national tourism groups acknowledges the formal announcement of the Coalition’s tourism policy, which commits to the Beyond 2020 Tourism Strategy and builds on the announcements of the 2019-20 Federal Budget.
“The Coalition’s announcement today reflects much of what was announced in the 2019-20 Federal Budget with a strong focus on Australian Tourism icons and infrastructure upgrades to improve experience. We particularly welcome the Coalition’s commitment to finalise and implement the Beyond 2020 Tourism Strategy,” Executive Chair of Australian Chamber-Tourism, John Hart, said today.
“A key focus of the Australian Chamber-Tourism is to advocate for policies that improve Australia’s international competitiveness. We welcome the Coalition’s commitment to commission a review of Australia’s visa settings against our international competitors.
“Our visa costs and current application processing times are not competitive and Australia’s $60 Passenger Movement Charge is one of the highest international ticket taxes in the world.
“The 2017 World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index ranked Australia 36th overall, 94th for taxes and charges and 128th of 136, for price competitiveness. This is unacceptable for a high-value destination such as Australia.
“Another area of concern is the decline in working holidaymaker visa grants. Working holidaymakers are vital to the growth and sustainability of the local economy, particularly in regional areas where they provide a boost to the agriculture and tourism sectors.
“The working holidaymaker program needs to be reinvigorated, with caps increased and the age limit expanded. In addition, Tourism Australia needs funding to better promote the program in partner countries. We urge the major parties to commit to build on this vital, long-standing program.
“We call on the next Federal Government to capitalise on massive expansions in key overseas markets and realise the potential of this super growth sector.”