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Tourism takes major step toward national accreditation.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

TOURISM TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARD NATIONAL ACCREDITATION The 51st meeting of the Tourism Ministers’ Council (TMC) has today strongly endorsed the Commonwealth Government's commitment to the implementation of a National Tourism Accreditation Scheme, with a business plan now to be completed by the end of 2008.

Industry and government accreditation schemes are operating around Australia but, as yet, no national accreditation framework has been implemented.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said: "A flexible, credible and widely endorsed accreditation scheme is vital to lifting the standard of the Australian tourism experience, allowing Australia to compete more effectively in the global tourism market.

"Accredited businesses differentiate themselves as quality operators, meeting the challenges of discerning customers. Accreditation provides a point of difference and a branding advantage.

"The previous Government neglected to use industry support to get a national accreditation scheme off the ground and I am pleased to be able to drive this vital industry initiative forward.

"I will ensure that a national scheme adds value and delivers real benefits for tourism businesses and, most importantly, for consumers."

The TMC today also strongly supported the Commonwealth Government's development of a National Long-term Tourism Strategy to address significant challenges which face all jurisdictions, such as shortages in skills, research, and infrastructure.

Minister Ferguson said: "International visitor numbers are growing, but the Australian tourism industry faces significant challenges.

"There is a widely-held view among this morning's participants that advertising alone will not provide a solution to these challenges and there is strong support for the National Long-term Tourism Strategy and its focus upon the supply-side issues which have

been allowed to constrain this

sector's capacity for too many years."

The TMC is comprised of the Ministers for Tourism from the Commonwealth, states, territories and New Zealand.

The

TMC meets to facilitate consultation and policy coordination between jurisdictions on matters of importance to the tourism industry.

Medi

a contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 37 17 44

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

09 Jul 2008