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Tourism takes major step to national accreditation.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

TOURISM TAKES MAJOR STEP TO NATIONAL ACCREDITATION The tourism industry today took a major step towards voluntary, national accreditation with the inaugural meeting of the National Accreditation Framework Joint Working Group in Parliament House, Canberra.

Minister for Tourism, the Hon Martin Ferguson MP, convened the meeting which included representatives of key tourism industry associations and State and Territory tourism organisations which currently operate accreditation programs.

Minister Ferguson said: "Tourism is Australia's largest export services industry accounting for 3.7 per cent of total Australian GDP and 10.4 per cent of total exports in 2006-07.

"However, the tourism industry faces

challenges of an increasingly competitive global tourism

market and increasing consumer expectations.

"A widely-endorsed accreditation framework is vital to lifting the standard of the Australian tourism experience.

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

"The Joint Working Group will aim to develop a National

Accreditation Framework which is visible,

credible, useful, accessible, inclusive, and sustainable, and which delivers a quality customer experience and builds capable and sustainable tourism businesses.

"As Minister for Tourism, I am ple

ased to be able to drive this vital industry initiative forward and

build Australia's reputation as

a trustworthy, quality, tourist destination and which complements initiatives such as the Tourist Consumer Protection Strategy which today saw NSW Minister for Fair Trading, Linda Burney, and I announce action against unfair and misleading practices by Sydney-based businesses involved in the Korean inbound tourist market," he said.

Minister Ferguson will present his accreditation vision to the Tourism Ministers' Council in July 2008, pushing forward with the development and implementation of the National Tourism Accreditation Framework.

Medi

a contact: Michael Bradley 0420 371 744

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

29 Apr 2008