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.

Aviation

How Air Canada is making its mark on gender equality, locally and globally

With the Women in Travel Awards 2019 just days away, we wanted to shine the light on a company that truly values female representation across the board.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation wrap: Qantas grows US network, Emirates reduces single-use plastics, Air Vanuatu’s new service + more

This week’s aviation wrap comes free of any mentions of flaperons, altimeters or horizontal stabilisers.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

TAA warns cruise industry could “flatten out” if Sydney doesn’t expand berthing facilities

Though that’s not to say Sydney’s overseas passenger terminal will now be equipped with a steamroller to flatten cruise ships at will.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Unruly passenger slaps cabin crew, throws up on Paris flight

Just when you thought nothing could top United’s ant-infested flight, Travel Weekly is proud to inform you of this mid-flight puke fest.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

REVEALED: The number one Aussie brand for Chinese consumers is not what you think

If you think we left the name of the top brand out of this headline to make you click on it, you’re absolutely right.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“Australia remains a billion-pound market for Britain”, says VisitBritain CEO

by Teresa Russell

Have you lost faith in Great Britain’s appeal as a destination for Aussie travellers? Have it restored here with this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Woman hilariously live-tweets ant-infested flight

by Ali Coulton

If you can think of anything worse than being surrounded by unruly insects during a nine-hour flight, please email your response to notpossible@doesnotexist.org.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Kiwis to say ‘Good Morning World’ every day for next 12 months as part of Tourism NZ’s new brand campaign

Kiwis are getting up at the crack of dawn to welcome the world as part of a Tourism NZ campaign. Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff will be tucked up in bed wearing their Peter Alexander PJs and pom pom nightcaps.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: 95 per cent of Aussies have holiday regrets, with a quarter wishing they’d had a fling

Travel Weekly’s editor has many holiday regrets – the tattoo of a particular appendage on his right bicep being just one of them.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb launches new project to support country pubs

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are supporting our local pub by blowing half our pay on its happy hour specials.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Opinion: Automation is the secret to personalisation in hotels

by Ahmed Youssef

We couldn’t find a robot who was willing to write this article for us, so we enlisted the help of Amadeus’ Ahmed Youssef instead.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Plane struck by lightning before fiery crash: report

A preliminary report on the tragic Aeroflot plane crash that killed 41 people last month has provided some more clarity around what went wrong.

Share

CommentComments