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Budget holds mixed bag for tourism industry



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A U S T R A L I A N H O T E L S A S S O C I A T I O N

24 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600 · PO Box 4286 Manuka ACT 2603 · Australia email: theaha@ ozemail.com.au · Facsimile: (02) 6273 4011 · Telephone (02) 6273 4007

Richard J Mulcahy National Executive Director

MEDIA RELEASE 11 May 1999

Budget Holds Mixed Bag For Tourism Industry i c u *< -

The Australian Hotels Association tonight welcomed the increase in funding for domestic tourism while raising serious concerns over the significant increase in visa fees for countries that do not have access to Electronic Travel Authorities.

“The Australian hotel industry is deeply concerned over the second consecutive significant increase in inbound travel charges to those countries unable to access Electronic Travel Authorities,” Mr Richard Mulcahy, National Executive Director of the Australian Hotels Association said today.

“The National Accommodation Council consisting of major hotel chain Chief Executives and national hotel industry leaders have recently identified Visa access and charges as a major concern.

“The National Accommodation Council believe that Australia’s ability to compete on an international level with other countries competing in the price sensitive inbound tourism market is heavily reliant upon an environment that encourages easy and cheap access to Australia.

“Liberalisation of visas and increased access through bilateral agreements with other countries is essential to ensure the potential for tourism growth is maximised.

“An additional $8 million increase in domestic tourism funding is a welcome initiative and the AHA congratulates the Government for its forward thinking on this matter.

“Domestic tourism accounts for a significant amount of total tourism expenditure and additional funding designed to encourage Australians to travel at home is welcomed by the AHA.

“The tourism and hospitality industry has the potential to create thousands of new jobs and international tourists must be encouraged to visit Australia to stimulate this growth,” Mr Mulcahy said.

Media Inquiries: Mr Daniel Leesong, Public Affairs Manager, Ph 02 6273 4007, 0417 253 753.