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Coalition commits to domestic tourism campaign and doubles assistance to the bush.

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The Hon. Andrew Thomson, MP Minister for Sport and Tourism

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games




25 September 1998


Funding of up to $8m for a cooperative domestic marketing campaign, massive reductions in transport costs and an $8m doubling of support for projects in regional areas are the cornerstones of the Coalition’s Tourism Policy, launched in Cairns today.


Launching the policy, Federal Tourism Minister Andrew Thomson said this election was tourism’s last chance for real tax reform and the removal of a whole range of impediments to growth.


“The choice is stark. Tourism can have dramatically lowered costs under the Coalition. Labor offer nothing but a rehash of the failed policies it pursued for 13 years,” Mr Thomson said.


Mr Thomson said the Coalition’s $8m domestic marketing commitment would enable a campaign of up to $16m to be mounted.


The funding is double that sought by peak body, Tourism Council Australia, when it first suggested a campaign on February 8.


It is contingent on matching contributions from States and Territories and the industry and follows the Government’s part-funding of a feasibility study.


“We recognise there are substantial benefits from a campaign that significantly turns around attitudes of Australians towards taking a holiday in Australia,” Mr Thomson said.


“We want a sophisticated campaign that delivers real results for the tourism industry.


“Labor’s only attempt at a domestic campaign, after the pilots’ strike in the late 1980s, failed. Even the industry admits there’s no evidence it worked.”


Mr Thomson said a Coalition Government would provide $8m to expand the Regional Tourism Program for projects in the bush, doubling the commitment made in the last Budget.


“Growth in service industries like tourism is vital for the survival of many small regional centres,” Mr Thomson said.


“We’ve already recognised that and this commitment - now totalling $16m - will do a lot to draw visitors from our traditional gateways and put them into the regions.”


Mr Thomson said the Coalition’s Tax Reform Plan offered tourism reduced costs of $650m a year, while tax cuts would be a major stimulus for more Australians to travel.


“Central to our Plan is a commitment to slashing diesel fuel costs for tourist operators by as much as 43c a litre,” Mr Thomson said.


“On the industry’s own figures, this could mean an average-sized marine cruise operator saving $50,000 a year and an average-sized coach company $124,000 per annum.


“We’re also putting an extra $2080-$2600 a year in the pocket of the average Australian family -enough to buy airfares and three nights accommodation in Cairns for a Sydney family of four.


“All Labor was offering was a bigger bureaucracy and a increased tax on the industry with a 33 per cent rise in the Passenger Movement Charge.”


Other commitments of the Coalition Tourism Policy are:


·  The earmarking of $2 million of Regional Tourism Program funding to establish web sites for Australia’s 40 regional tourism organisations;


·  The provision of $300,000 for development, implementation and marketing of Tourism Council Australia’s National Accreditation Program.




Contact:  Craig Regan - Mini ster’s office - 02 6277 7080  0419 987 765

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