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States and Territories urged to win economic benefits of tourism shopping reform.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

30 August 2007

STATES AND TERRITORIES URGED TO WIN ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF TOURISM SHOPPING REFORM

A Federal Government proposal to enhance tourism shopping will significantly boost tourism exports, contribute to economic growth and create more jobs in the tourism and retail sectors.

These are the outcomes according to an Access Economics report released today by Fran Bailey, Federal Minister for Small Business and Tourism.

In the May Budget, the Government announced that, subject to agreement from all State and Territory Treasurers, it would implement new measures to help boost the yield from tourism shopping.

The new proposals, which would include the introduction of cash refunds for all departing travellers to spend before they leave Australia, are aimed at making Australia a more competitive shopping destination and increasing the yield from tourism.

"It is obvious that when people travel, they like to shop," Fran Bailey said in releasing the report today. "Australia needs to be more competitive in attracting the tourism shopping dollar. This is what these changes are aimed at doing."

"Research tells us that shopping is the second most popular activity by visitors to Australia. But, the amount spent by tourists on shopping could be a lot more," Fran Bailey said.

The Federal Government wrote to all States and Territories in January this year seeking their agreement to the changes, which carry a small cost in GST revenue. The Access Economics report shows that this cost is significantly outweighed by the benefits from increases in tourist expenditure, increased economic growth and from job creation opportunities.

The research was shared with all State and Territory tourism ministers at a meeting of the Tourism Ministers' Council earlier this month. Minister Bailey has encouraged her state and territory colleagues to consider the report and has urged them to agree to the reform proposals as soon as possible.

Kevin Lowe: 02 62777 450 0408 404 468