From the manag­ing edi­tor

Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Bruce Piper

Richard Col­beck, Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Tourism and In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, cer­tainly seems to have grasped the net­tle of his port­fo­lio which he has taken up with ex­quis­ite tim­ing, just as the econ­omy turns from its re­source boom to fo­cus on other ar­eas in­clud­ing tourism. The Tas­ma­nian sen­a­tor spoke about the trans­for­ma­tion at last month’s Des­ti­na­tion Aus­tralia con­fer­ence in Syd­ney, con­firm­ing that the gov­ern­ment now recog­nises tourism as one of five “su­per growth” ar­eas in the Aus­tralian econ­omy. That was fur­ther un­der­lined, he said, by the min­utes of a re­cent Re­serve Bank board meet­ing held on 1 March which noted that “the scope for Chi­nese house­hold in­comes to rise over time cre­ated long-run po­ten­tial for Aus­tralia to in­crease ex­ports of ru­ral pro­duce and ser­vices, in­clud­ing tourism, to China”. Col­beck seized on these com­ments, say­ing when fi­nan­cial mar­kets be­gin talk­ing about tourism it is clear that the sec­tor’s po­ten­tial is firmly on the radar both for gov­ern­ments, big busi­ness and in­vestors across the coun­try. That also ex­tends to at­ti­tudes about travel and tourism in­dus­try ca­reers, with Col­beck strongly urg­ing a re­think. “Our un­der­stand­ing that this is a strong and a pos­i­tive ca­reer path needs to be very much stronger as part of the mes­sage we por­tray to the broader com­mu­nity… these are real, good and solid ca­reers,” he said. How­ever like some of his pre­de­ces­sors it ap­pears Col­beck also needs some ed­u­ca­tion about the im­por­tance of the out­bound mar­ket, and the thou­sands of Aus­tralian travel agents, tour oper­a­tors, air­line staff and other sup­pli­ers in the travel sec­tor. AFTA, which did such a good job of in­form­ing pre­vi­ous of­fi­cials that tourism and travel isn’t just about in­bound vis­i­ta­tion, clearly needs to have a word in Col­beck’s ear based on some of his com­ments about the over­all in­dus­try dur­ing his speech. Un­veil­ing growth of more than 10% in do­mes­tic overnight ex­pen­di­ture, Col­beck claimed this showed a shift to do­mes­tic travel in pref­er­ence to overseas hol­i­days which he said is “good news for ev­ery­one”. While out­bound num­bers also con­tinue to grow, the Min­is­ter’s de­light at the prospect of slow­ing num­bers of overseas hol­i­days clearly showed he didn’t un­der­stand the im­pact this would have on all of the Aus­tralians em­ployed in the out­bound travel in­dus­try. MEAN­WHILE we hope you en­joy this spe­cial cruise-fo­cused edi­tion of trav­elbul­letin. For the first time we have some “edi­tor’s cruise picks” and even an origami ac­tiv­ity in the cen­tre of the mag­a­zine. Don’t miss it!

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