AFTA & CATO respond to Ministers’ plan to rebuild tourism sector

AFTA & CATO respond to Ministers’ plan to rebuild tourism sector

Australia’s tourism peak bodies have voiced their support for a government plan to return the visitor economy to pre-COIVD levels of $166 billion by 2024.

Tourism ministers from across the political spectrum came together in Adelaide yesterday for the Tourism Ministers’ Meeting (TMM), hosted by Federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell and South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison.

The Ministers agreed on a collaborative plan to rebuild the industry in the coming 12-18 months with a focus on  insurance, sustainability, Indigenous tourism, tourism in national parks and accessible tourism.

The plan will work to address challenges in the aviation sector, rebuild the workforce, speed up mutual recognition of tourism qualifications and ensure tourism training is included in fee-free TAFE programs.

The group promised to stand with the sector and help it rebuild so more than 300,000 mostly small businesses that rely on the visitor economy can thrive.

This commitment extends to the longer term as well by backing Australia’s national strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030, which seeks to grow expenditure to $230 billion by 2030, while achieving a regional spending target of $100 billion.

“We all understand that a healthy tourism workforce and industry go hand in hand and are crucial to Australia’s economy,” said federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell.

“The industry is bouncing back strongly, but there is work to do.

“There is no silver bullet, but by working together and empowering key stakeholders we are mapping a way forward that will benefit all Australians and the broader economy.”

Dean Long, CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) said the results of the meeting were a big positive and he looks forward to hearing the government’s plans beyond 2030.

“It’s great to have a government that shows its support for the travel industry,” Long said.

“Thrive 2030 is the first federal strategy to realise the importance of a vibrant and successful inbound industry.

“It’s also great to see travel management have a strong voice within the 2030 strategy with [Corporate Travel Management CEO] Laura Ruffles on the Thrive 2030 implementation group.”

The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has also voiced its support for the outcome, with managing director Brett Jardine welcoming the collaborative workplan.

Jardine said the government recognised the value (more than AUD$12 billion) that outbound leisure travel delivers to the Australian economy and remains engaged with CATO around challenges faced by the industry.

Image: Facebook/SenatorDonFarrell

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