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Plan to secure Australia's tourism future.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

11 February 2002 "02/014

PLAN TO SECURE AUSTRALIA'S TOURISM FUTURE

A stronger partnership between the tourism industry and the Government will be the platform for developing a performance-based, 10-year growth strategy for Australian tourism, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey announced today.

The tourism strategy was a top priority and it would be presented to the Prime Minister by December 2002.

"A medium to long-term strategy is vital to ensure the tourism industry reaches its potential," the Minister said

"In order to achieve this I want to work 'hand in hand' with the industry to strengthen the Government's relationships with all industry players.

"I want to ensure Australian tourism has a five-star future."

The Minister made the announcement in his address to the Australian Hotels Associations' National Accommodation Forum in Melbourne.

Lead issues to be covered in the strategy include:

• harmonising the Federal, state and regional marketing activities of bodies like the Australian Tourist Commission, See Australia, State and Territory Tourism Commissions, and regional tourism associations

• access to international markets • passenger processing • investment in tourism infrastructure • transport quality and standards • the industry’s image within the investment community, business viability and minimising

risk

• product development, including Indigenous tourism products • innovation and R&D • uptake of information and communications technologies • environment and conservation issues • tourism as a vehicle for stimulating economic growth in regional Australia • education and training issues, and meeting skills requirements

"The strategy that I envisage will be one that is fully owned by all stakeholders. This is what the industry and the Government both want and deserve.

"This strategy will make a clear commitment to targets and timeframes and will be open and specific on these targets."

The Minister said that the tourism industry faced a new set of challenges, not least of which is the capture of opportunities presented by a rapidly expanding international market.

"Some of this growth will come from new and unexpected markets and we will need to prepare for this as well as for the resurgence of markets which are re-building and realigning," he said.

At 4.5 per cent of GDP, Australia's tourism industry contributes more to the Australian economy than the tourist industries of other advanced nations, such as the US and Canada, where tourism contributes 3.5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

Growth forecasts for international visitors to Australia predict a nearly doubling of current inbound arrivals to 9.4 million by 2010, generating over $28 billion a year in exports.

Media contact: Matthew Abbott 0408 974 349

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