Funding for tourism holds in difficult Federal Budget – Australian Tourism Export Council

Funding for tourism holds in difficult Federal Budget  – Australian Tourism Export Council

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) recognised many pressures placed on today’s Federal Budget and congratulated the Government on retaining funding for Australia’s lead international tourism marketing agency.

While our export tourism industry works to rebuild, it is vital to continue a strong and effective international marketing strategy to ensure Australia is a destination of choice both now and into the future.

“ATEC is pleased to see the Government commit to the future of Australia’s export tourism industry by continuing to invest in Tourism Australia as our lead international marketing agency,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said tonight.

“In a highly competitive international travel marketplace, Australia needs to maintain its presence across the board, from existing traditional markets to newly emerging opportunities and a well-funded destination marketing agency is key to doing this successfully.

“While we are far from being back to business as normal, we are pleased to see the importance of our sector is recognised by the Federal Government and the Tourism Minister Don Farrell in particular in advocating strongly to retain agency funding levels given the many pressures on this year’s budget.”

Key issues facing the industry as it recovers from the pandemic include rebuilding trade networks, a streamlined visitor experience and support for the industry to get back to market.

“This budget has allocated additional resources for tourism infrastructure particularly in the Northern Territory and has held steady funding for the Emerging Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG) which is an important funding pool for our industry and one which delivers a net positive economic benefit to Australia.

Mr Shelley said tonight’s $10 increase in the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) plus a sizeable increase to application fees for tourism visas is disappointing in the current environment.

“While these individual charges may seem small, the collective impact on the traveller is significant and the industry calls for a freeze on these increases over coming years.

“As a tax that delivers over a billion dollars in revenue annually, the PMC offers ample opportunity to support the rebuilding and recognise the success of Australia’s export tourism industry by reinvesting some of this revenue into programs which can support its future.

“While Australia’s economic future remains challenging, the opportunity for tourism exports to contribute to positively reducing our trade deficit and delivering economic benefit is significant.

“Export tourism needs to see a continued investment and a hold on any detrimental taxes and charges to ensure we can make a strong contribution.”

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