Start-ups could benefit from Gillard’s tourism boost

The Federal Government has unveiled a new strategy titled 2020 Tourism Industry Potential, in a bid to revive Australia’s flagging tourism sector.

 

 

The strategy coincides with a government report into the sector, which reveals that tourism’s contribution to the national economy has decreased and industry growth is set to slump over the next 10 years.

 

The government wants to dramatically boost the fortunes of resorts and other accommodation in Australia, potentially providing opportunities for start-ups in the sector.

 

However, despite the ambitious plan, Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson says no additional funds will be spent on tourism.

 

“The question is not about more funding; it is about how we better spend the money on the table,” he says.

 

According to the report, Australians are increasingly shunning holidays at home due to “a lack of quality in the domestic tourism offering, reflecting a lack of investment in product and experiences”.

 

From 2000 to 2009, domestic overnight trips by Australians decreased by around 10%, according to a report by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

 

The government’s new strategic approach is aimed at doubling overnight expenditure for Australia’s tourism industry, from $70 billion to $140 billion by 2020.

 

The details were unveiled by Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy at today’s inaugural Australian Tourism Directions Conference.

 

Details of the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential include:

  • Increasing tourism’s contribution to GDP from 2.6% to up to 3% in 2020.
  • Increasing tax revenues from tourism, from $9.3 billion to $14.5 billion.
  • Increased net exports of up to $6.7 billion.
  • Potential of between 40,000 and 70,000 rooms required for the accommodation sector.
  • Growth in aviation capacity – between 40% and 50% for international and between 23% and 30% for domestic.
  • Jobs growth between 12% and 32%, or 56,000 to 152,000 additional jobs.

 

The plan follows the launch of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy, announced by Ferguson in late 2009.

 

At the conference today, Ferguson said the government is pursuing a number of reforms to “unlock productivity, remove unnecessary or duplicated regulation between the states and territories, assist with labour force planning in the sector, and encourage investment in areas like hotels, motels and conference centres.”

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