TAA appoints former tourism minister as chair

TAA appoints former tourism minister as chair

Former Federal Tourism Minister The Hon Martin Ferguson has been given a new role in the travel industry.

Ferguson is stepping up to become the new chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), giving the sector a stronger voice and rep down in Canberra.

TAA represents major hotel groups and more than 1000 hotels, motels, resorts and service apartments, and is also a division of the Australian Hotels Association.

Ferguson’s appointment comes at a critical time for the industry, as it focuses its efforts on gaining greater advocacy for an industry that is integral to country’s economy and undergoing significant expansion.

Ferguson was President of the ACTU for six years before entering Parliament in 1996, where he held the Shadow Ministry responsibility for tourism from 2004-2007, and was then Minister for Tourism in the Rudd and Gillard Governments from 2007-13.

“TAA has strong representation and advocacy nationwide through its branches in each state and territory and I am looking forward to ensuring the industry has a strong voice in Canberra,” Ferguson said.

As Federal Tourism Minister, Ferguson was responsible for announcing the Tourism 2020 plan, which played a major role in bringing the tourism and hospitality industries to the forefront of priority industries for Australia’s future growth.

Over 75 hotels are currently in the development pipeline, with the figure likely to grow to over 100 hotels scheduled for building by the end of 2020, and the boom in hotel development is providing momentum for Australia’s tourism and events sector.

“The industry needs to advocate long-term and sustainable policies that encourage both development of the industry and creation of new employment opportunities,” Ferguson added.

“Australia now has a very competitive currency, major new tourism infrastructure underway, and is one of the fastest growing industries for employment, especially in regional areas that are currently being affected by the mining slowdown.”

“The tourism and hospitality industry is now generating $94 billion in spending and contributing over $34 billion to Australia’s GDP, directly employing over 500,000 people and earning nearly 10% of our total export earnings, making it Australia’s largest service export industry.

“The accommodation industry needs to progress its strategic initiatives, such as the concentration on growing Asian business, investment in tourism infrastructure and the move to build industry resilience, productivity and quality.”

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