News

Australia cancels membership to World Tourism Organisation, industry irked

Anger has mounted following Trade Minister Andrew Robb’s cancellation of Australia’s membership to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), citing high membership costs.

Shadow Minister for Tourism, Anthony Albanese has hit back against the decision, saying membership of the UNWTO provides the Australian tourism industry “access to crucial world tourism data,” Albanese said. 

According to Albanese, an email sent by a DFTA official to tourism operators “made it clear that it was a personal decision” from Robb together with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, which has led to the process to withdraw Australia as a full member.

“This withdrawal has been prompted by questions about the value of benefits of membership to Australia in recent years and follows a comprehensive review in consultation with key industry stakeholders,” DFAT said. 

According to a report in The Australian, Robb cited high membership costs as the reason for choosing to withdraw Australia’s membership, which it has held since 2004.

“The government determined that the UNWTO work program does not align with our national tourism program (Tourism 2020) and that the benefits from membership do not outweigh the membership costs ($1.7 million over the forward estimates),” according to a statement from Robb’s office yesterday to the Australian newspaper.

“The government is of the view the Australian tourism industry is better served by our engagement with other multilateral forums such as the OECD Tourism Committee and the APEC Tourism Working Group.”

There are currently 156 member countries to UNWTO, which is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of the world’s $7 trillion travel industry.

“While Mr Robb is travelling in Brazil, Chile and Peru this week he should ask their Tourism Ministers about the benefits of being a member of UNWTO,” Albanese said.

“If Mr Robb won’t listen to the domestic tourism industry about the importance of being a member of UNWTO perhaps he will listen to his counterparts abroad.”

“Unlike Brazil, Chile and Peru, Australia does not even have a Tourism Minister.”

“After abandoning the domestic tourism sector by cutting grants and marketing, the Abbott Government is now further withdrawing from the world stage,” Albanese said.

Albanese has urged Robb to explain how the withdrawal from UNWTO will boost Australia’s tourism sector.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Tourism

86 tigers die three years after rescue from notorious Thai tourist attraction

by Christian Fleetwood

Over half of the 147 tigers rescued from a well-known Thai tourist attraction have died, allegedly as a result of inbreeding.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand backs down on ‘Kia Ora’ trademark attempt following uproar

by Ali Coulton

The airline has turned its gaff into a campaign to call for a government crackdown on trademarking Māori language… which it tried to do last week.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

REVEALED: The ‘chicest’ countries in the world

We admit we’re a bit confused as to what ‘chicness’ actually is, but all of the destinations on the list look very pretty.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Destination NSW joins CLIA, Hurtigruten launches hybrid ship, Aussie cruise season kicks off + MORE!

Tired of your colleagues outsmarting you when it comes to the latest cruise brochures and deals? Get the upper hand right here.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourist boat crash sends passenger through floor, onto lap of another in toilet

If being involved in a boat crash on the Brisbane River wasn’t enough, one passenger had the misfortune of landing on someone who was using the loo at the time.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas, Virgin bosses accuse airports of financially squeezing consumers, airlines dry

by Christian Fleetwood

The spat between airlines and airports over whose to blame for the high-price of domestic tickets continues. Pull up a seat and read what Qantas and Virgin have to say about it.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Missing woman finds herself in Iceland after joining her own search party

A missing person story from 2012 is having a moment on Twitter and, as you can imagine, the responses are mixed.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Five reasons why you should apply for the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship

This list of reasons why has got Travel Weekly’s editor keen on applying for Avis’ scholarship, and he’s not even a travel agent.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek interview with TMS Talent’s Ed Hewitt

This week, TMS Talent’s NSW state manager told us his grand plan for fixing Brexit. Unfortunately, we forgot to turn on our voice recorder.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel review: Hoshinoya Tokyo

by Harriet Morris

Hoshinoya Tokyo is an ode to ancient Japan located in the heart of its most modern city. Here’s our verdict.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

All the winners from the 2019 AHA National Awards for Excellence

Australia’s very best of the hospitality sector have been crowned. Find out who can now claim bragging rights here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas boss tops list of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs

by Christian Fleetwood

Do you hate reading about industry CEOs with huge pay packets? Well, it might be best to skip this story.

Share

CommentComments