A Shorten Labor Government will restore tourism to the heart of Australia’s economic narrative, recognising its importance as a super-growth sector for jobs and the economy.
Tourism contributes $100 billion annually to Australia’s GDP and employs almost one million people, underpinning the local economy of towns and cities across the nation.
Labor’s Plan for Tourism, released today, showcases the most comprehensive tourism policy ever taken to an election and will deliver record investment to unlock the potential of this critical industry.
This includes restoring tourism’s standing as a key economic portfolio by realigning the tourism portfolio within a newly configured Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Cities and Tourism.
Genuine consultation between government and industry will be at the heart of ongoing policy development through improving the Tourism Access Working Group and delivering a Tourism 2030 strategy.
Labor’s plan builds on a number of long standing commitments including the allocation of $1 billion from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to a Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund, investing in Kakadu National Park, rejuvenating Great Keppel Island and delivering critical investment in key projects along the Shipwreck Coast as well as the Great Ocean Road.
Labor’s additional tourism commitments include:
- Investing $120 million in key Tasmanian tourism projects to manage growing visitor numbers and unlock future jobs growth, as well as the state’s potential, as a world-class destination for domestic and international tourists.
- Providing a $25 million boost to Tourism Australia for domestic marketing and aviation attraction.
- Establishing a First Nations Taskforce to work with tourism operators, industry, communities and other levels of government to investigate opportunities to showcase First Nations culture and history to visitors.
- Growing regional tourism by building up existing tourism offerings, creating new tourism opportunities and supporting regional aviation.
- Supporting business events by investing in research to guide additional investment, while supporting the work of the Bid Fund Program.
- Levelling the playing field so that Australia’s accommodation providers have the ability to set their own prices so that they can compete with the multinationals behind the world’s largest online booking sites.
- Investing in education and training, including $6 million for the Quality Tourism Framework to improve and diversify Australian tourism products.
A Shorten Labor Government will not only invest in tourism promotion and skills development, but also in the hard infrastructure needed to underpin the sector’s success including better rail, roads and more efficient airports in regional communities.
Labor’s Plan for Australian Tourism is built upon years of consultation with the tourism sector right across the nation.
While the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has focused on its internal brawls, Labor has put in the hard work to develop a plan that will drive growth in tourism, not just in communities where it is already a major industry, but also in smaller regional communities keen to develop its potential as a driver of local jobs and economic activity.