TOURISM ON THE AGENDA

Travel Bulletin - - ISSUES & TRENDS - Jayson West­bury, chief ex­ec­u­tive AFTA

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

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