Federal government assembles expert panel to help drive tourism industry’s recovery

Federal government assembles expert panel to help drive tourism industry’s recovery

An expert panel has been formed to provide advice to the federal government and the tourism industry to help drive its economic recovery from COVID-19.

The five-member panel will provide advice on the visitor economy, which encompasses domestic and international tourism, including international students, business and leisure travellers, business and major events, and short-term overseas workers, as well as associated industries such as hospitality, aviation and accommodation.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said, Martin Ferguson (pictured above), who is currently chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) and Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association, has been appointed to lead the ‘Reimagining the Visitor Economy Expert Panel’ over the next six months.

“Mr Ferguson and his team have the crucial role of helping Australia to chart a course to long-term success as we emerge from COVID-19,” Tehan said.

Ferguson welcomed the opportunity to lead the expert panel.

“We have an opportunity to imagine a new future for the sector which is more resilient, sustainable and competitive,” he said.

Joining Ferguson on the panel is Leanne Coddington (CEO, Tourism & Events Queensland), Karyn Kent (CEO, StudyAdelaide), Kate Lamont (owner, Lamont’s Wine & Food) and Juan Walker (owner and operator, Walkabout Cultural Adventures).

TAA chief executive Michael Johnson said Ferguson’s appointment as chair of the panel was recognition of his breadth of experience and respect in the industry.

“Martin’s skills and experience have been crucial to the work TAA has been doing during the worst crisis to hit our industry in living memory, and I can think of no one better to lead this panel,” Johnson said.

Simon Westaway, executive director at the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), welcomed the establishment of an expert panel as a means to advance the timeline towards a “much-needed, decade-long” national tourism and visitor economy strategy to 2030.

“Martin Ferguson previously drove successful collaboration and alignment on the fundamentals to deliver Tourism2020, and ATIC positively views the appointment and that of the diverse panel,” Westaway said.

“ATIC will continue to directly engage with the federal government on a future national tourism strategy which can support a more sustainable future for tourism enterprises and jobs.”

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Peter Shelley also welcomed the formation of an expert panel to work on developing the next stage of Australia’s long-term tourism strategy.

“ATEC looks forward to supporting the work of the panel and helping to pave the way back for our successful export tourism industry,” he said.

Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons/Sikarin Thanachaiary (© World Economic Forum)

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