Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has today released its State of the Industry 2018-19 Report, highlighting the importance of the tourism industry to Australia’s economy, and amplifying the crucial need for support from all levels of government to recover from the devastating bushfire and coronavirus crises.
The 2018-19 report shows positive results, with an increase in visitation, expenditure, employment and number of tourism businesses in Australia.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said while the report does not encompass the recent period impacted by bushfires and Covid-19, it is a strong reminder that tourism is a solid pillar for Australia’s economy.
“The figures speak for themselves. The industry has well and truly achieved its targets set in the State Government’s 2020 Tourism Strategy, having now cracked over $146.4 billion in total tourism spend across Australia.
“We’ve seen 8.6 million international visitors who have spent close to $45 billion in our country, and while we are delighted by these numbers, we cannot forget that sadly this is what is currently at risk as Coronavirus takes hold globally.
“To put it simply, the sector needs all the help it can get to repair and rebuild. We already know that we aren’t going to see the same positive results in the coming quarter, but we need to work together to get back there.
“In VTIC’s recently launched 2020-21 State Budget submission, we have focused on support for visitor economy recovery and resilience. We are calling for funding for much-needed crisis recovery marketing and promotion, the reinstatement of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, investment in redeveloping damaged visitor infrastructure and more.
“We need to capitalise on the industry’s strengths and invest in the measures that will grow visitor numbers and expenditure across the country to see a report like this in the future,” Ms Mariani said.
The data released shows that in 2018-19 the tourism industry contributed more than $60 billion to national GDP and provided jobs for more than 5% of the national workforce (666,000 people). Tourism also brought $39.1 billion in exports and is currently the fourth largest exporting industry.
“These statistics make a strong case for why the Federal Government needs to implement a business support package that addresses the current financial crisis being experienced by the tourism and events sector across the country.”
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