TOURISM ON THE AGENDA
WELL it’s official, we will be having a Federal Election on the 2nd July and all members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate will have to stand for re-election. So the race for the “Lodge” is on with both leaders starting very quickly to outline what they will do and what they believe they can achieve if elected. At the time of writing this for travelbulletin the polls had both parties neck and neck and by the time you are reading this article it could be anyone’s guess as to how things look leading into the election in early July. What is hoped by all is that consumers start to feel more confident with at least now knowing that the election is to be held and from a travel industry perspective, people can plan with this knowledge. Both parties do appear to have tourism (by association travel) on their agendas as an industry of growth for the future. This is a key and important aspect to how the industry will be treated and hopefully further respected by whichever side forms government in the next parliament. For years politicians of all flavours have spent their time talking up the resources sector and for good reason. Now they are all looking for the next industry that will drive the Australian economy and without question tourism and travel will be at the forefront of the narrative. In simple terms the tourism industry is a very big employer and set to be even bigger as more overseas visitors find their way to our shores and with the continued development and investment in assets, such as hotels, tourism really does matter. For the travel industry, this is a good thing as it will continue to push airline and cruise ship capacity, provide improvements in passenger facilitation, improve services in the tourism industry and all this supports the outbound travel industry greatly. In fact, as I have said many times before and constantly remind politicians and bureaucrats, the travel and tourism industries are interlinked and intertwined. The two need each other to ensure that a robust end-toend industry is in place in Australia. As for policy announcements, strangely, given all that I have said already, I am not sure we can expect anything earth shattering or amazing to come from either side as we lead into the election about how they plan on really supporting our industry. The latest budget measures announced by the Turnbull government which include the reduction in the company tax rate still need to be passed into legislation. So the Turnbull government needs to win in order for them to come into effect. It is not completely clear what Labor will do with the budget and so we will have to wait until after the election to see exactly what happens. Such is the cut and trust of federal politics’, budgets and federal elections. No matter which way the election goes, AFTA will continue to make the case to ensure that the travel industry is not forgotten and that the important connection is made between the travel and tourism industry for the future of the Australian economy. Further we will ensure that whoever forms government ensures the tens of thousands of people who work hard every day in travel are not forgotten and that policies are developed that matter and make a difference for us all.
Both parties do appear to have tourism (by association travel) agendas’ on their