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.

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Aman’s luxury off-grid Utah camp, AHA & Aon Hospitality Awards for Excellence + MORE!

What does a Hotel Wrap and a Vietnamese coffee have in common? Both put just the right amount of pep in your step on a Thursday.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Venice “on its knees” after being hit by worst flood in 50 years

Venice has been hit by the second-worst flood in its recorded history, with water submerging 85 per cent of the Italian city.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Kyoto’s famous Gion neighbourhood bans photos in private areas

by Christian Fleetwood

Tourists have been roasted for killing the vibe in a popular Kyoto tourist area, and for harassing the region’s famous female entertainers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas prepares for historic nonstop London-to-Sydney research flight

by Christian Fleetwood

Qantas is getting ready to make history yet again when it flies the second stage of Project Sunrise.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

British travellers’ hilarious reaction to flooding cruise ship goes viral

The internet was very amused by the reactions of these British travellers when their cruise ship hit rough waters – or, rather, their distinct lack of reaction.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Former Jetstar boss named Helloworld’s new CFO

Helloworld’s new head bean counter happens to be a familiar face in the travel industry. Find out just how familiar here.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Virtuoso taps Aussie hotspot as top luxe experience for 2020

Do you enjoy drooling over exciting luxury travel experiences you’ll most likely never be able to afford? Read on.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

CATO Awards to become standalone event in 2020

Travel Weekly thoroughly enjoyed the inaugural CATO Awards earlier this year, despite being relegated to a table right up the back near security.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers take home Avis Travel Agent Scholarship for third year running

Did you hear Queen’s “We Are the Champions” being blasted at TravelManagers HQ this morn? This news could explain the commotion.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Rail Europe’s new tools for agents, Rocky Mountaineer bonuses + MORE!

Seeking some extra motivation to sell more road and rail journeys that doesn’t involve coffee or a cattle prod? Look no further than this wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

London’s Crossrail project faces further delays, as costs increase

by Christian Fleetwood

The opening of a monumental London railway project, which would connect Heathrow Airport and other landmarks, has been pushed back amid mounting costs.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airlines exposed for money-saving ‘fuel tankering’ practice that increases emissions

by Christian Fleetwood

A UK investigation has revealed an unsettling cost-cutting practice at airlines that sees hundreds of kilograms of additional emissions produced per flight.

Share

CommentComments