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Tourism's downward spiral confirmed.



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Joel Fitzgibbon - Tourism's Downward Spiral Confirmed http://www.alp.org.au//media/1001/jfmsabs231001.html Wednesday, 24 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Tourism's Downward Spiral Confirmed Joel Fitzgibbon - Shadow Minister for Tourism

Media Statement - 23 October 2001

Preliminary overseas arrival figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirms Australia's tourism industry will suffer as a consequence of the US terrorist attacks and the Ansett collapse, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Joel Fitzgibbon, said today.

"The significant drop in numbers of international visitors to Australia-down by 50,000-means Australia's $60 billion tourism export earnings will also be drastically reduced.

"Because every $1 billion of tourism exports creates over 10,000 jobs across the country, there is the danger of a major drop-off in employment opportunities. This is already evident in the regions hardest hit by the crisis including Cairns, Broome, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

"The ABS data vindicates everything Labor has been saying over the last six weeks-that the tourism industry will be adversely affected in the wake of these events.

"Labor responded immediately to the tourism industry's needs with its $76million rescue package, including a concessional loans initiative for businesses adversely affected by the crisis.

"By contrast, the Coalition has announced a new tax on airline tickets, offered a meagre $20million to the industry, and constantly denies the potential of the crisis to blow a $1 billion hole in the economy," Mr Fitzgibbon claimed.

"Having hidden the fact that it failed to collect vital data from arriving international visitors for over a year, and under pressure from Labor, the Howard Government has done something to address this issue at last. Although it may come too late as up-to-date statistics will not be available for at least another six months."

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.