A new federal government with no tourism minister. Optimal? No. Better connections? Probably. Tourism will now be shared between the important trade and industry portfolios. Perhaps this will enable us to better put our position to those who make decisions that affect the tourism industry.
Victoria’s $19 billion tourism and events sector is one of the shining lights of the Australian economy. We employ more than 200,000 people and have healthy prospects from growth opportunities ahead. We are also faced with challenges on which we can capitalise, especially in attracting more investment and encouraging greater regional dispersal of visitors.
Australia’s new government says it is committed to supporting tourism, though it has not allocated the industry its own ministry. This past week, VTIC has been focussed on finding out just how federal tourism decisions will be made and coordinated, and how we can best seize opportunities for industry.
What is clear?
The Department of Industry has carriage of the Tourism Australia Act.
What is not clear?
How departmental structures will work, the management of domestic marketing responsibilities and who has responsibility for the supply-side of tourism federally (for example, tourism employment plans and TQUAL grants).
VTIC will focus on ensuring government listens to industry in determining these matters. We will work with our National Tourism Alliance colleagues to sound the industry’s voice. Now, more than ever, it is important for tourism to present a united front.
We acknowledge the active engagement of the Hon. Bob Baldwin MP in his former role as Shadow Tourism Minister and look forward to working with him in his new role as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry.
It is the beginning of a new era, certainly, and we will continue to focus on achieving the best outcomes.
Most importantly, what do you think?
Email your views to InfoVTIC@vecci.org.au.