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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Minister Ferguson outlines new direction for tourism


Australia’s tourism industry is heading in a new direction, according to Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP.

In his opening address at the inaugural Tourism Directions conference at Parliament House in Canberra yesterday, Minister Ferguson said that the Australian tourism industry had managed to establish an edge against international competitors.

This was achieved because of the country’s strong performance in the tourism sector during the global financial crisis.

"Australia has successfully negotiated a difficult trading environment, and now emerges in a stronger position than many of our rival destinations," Minister Ferguson said.

"With global travel down by four per cent, Australia has been able to maintain the number of international inbound visitors, and secure the half a million jobs and $33 billion economic contribution of tourism in Australia.

Minister Ferguson said Australian tourism's success over the past three years was mainly thanks to timely government intervention in the form of the stimulus package, and subsequent investment in vital transport and community infrastructure.

"Australia's tourism industry is well-placed to meet the needs of the growing Asian market, provided it can increase productivity and provide consumers with a better value for money experience.

"The Australian Government is committed to working with the industry and state and territory tourism governments to drive this transformation.

"Our agenda is set out in the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy work program where we are 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.

"A focus on the supply-side of our industry will deliver long-lasting reform which increases the competitiveness and productivity of the sector, while our significant investments in marketing will ensure Australia maintains its status as a world-leading tourism destination."

The Tourism Directions Conference was hosted by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Tourism Australia.

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