Tourism a ‘super’ sector
TOURISM’S significant contribution to the Australian economy has been recognised in a report into the growth opportunities over the next 20 years provided by the next phase of Asia’s economic boom. The report, released by Deloitte Access Economics, highlights tourism as one of five super sectors which will be of greatest benefit from Asian growth, and making the most of these sectors can deliver a $250 billion boost to the Australian economy.
‘‘This report tells us what the tourism industry has known for a long time - the tourism economy is a huge contributor and has the potential to grow even further,’’ ATEC managing director, Felicia Mariani, said yesterday. ‘‘Today’s overseas arrivals figures make the Asian growth story clear, with annual increases of between 6.5 per cent for Malaysia and 7 per cent for Indonesia, almost 10 per cent for Singapore and a very healthy 14 per cent for China - and we are seeing long-term consecutive results.
‘‘Of most significance is the yield from these markets which, in the case of China, is growing at an enormous rate that will see this market worth upwards of $7.4 billion a year by 2020.’’
Ms Mariani said the Deloitte report provided an important reminder to both government and industry on the importance of investing in the future.
‘‘Here we have a clearly indentified opportunity, a report that provides us with a vision of the future. Now is the time to invest in that future by ensuring our tourism industry is well equipped to meet the demands of the Asian visitor of the future. ‘‘ATEC has already recognised these opportunities and is providing the industry with some of the tools they will need to fully benefit from the Asian market including the Welcoming Chinese Visitors program that helps tourism businesses build their business capacity through a comprehensive, step-bystep program of education and accreditation.
‘‘Being ‘service ready’ is critical in meeting the needs of Asian visitors, but being ‘product ready’ and then ‘sales ready’ are also crucial streams of learning for Australia in successfully connecting with our international markets, including Asia.’’
Ms Mariani said ATEC was keen to work with the new Federal Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, in building a future-ready tourism industry and welcomed the inclusion of the industry in the Trade portfolio. ‘‘This report is clear acknowledgement of the importance of tourism and we are pleased the new Abbott Government has recognised the tourism industry as a central plank of Australia’s export offering.’’
POSITIVE: Federal Andrew Robb