Bravo to Steven Ciobo who has hit the ground running as our new Tourism Minister with a call on behalf of industry not to nobble the economic success of the new Western Sydney Airport with an unnecessary and limiting curfew.
If we allow partisan politics to dictate the operation of the airport, we will end up with a third-class piece of infrastructure that will fail to deliver the jobs and economic activity we need in Western Sydney to make a lasting difference.
We need to have a mature and considered discussion about how airports operate and the distinct difference between day and night operations that should put the community at ease about this issue. An airport in Western Sydney without artificial limitations placed on it can only be to the social and economic benefit of the region as thousands of new knowledge jobs flock to the precinct to take advantage of this piece of aviation infrastructure.
The Victorian Government yesterday released the much-anticipated Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy and I have to say its nine priorities are spot on with what TTF has long been advocating – more private investment, encouraging visitors to head out into regional and rural Victoria, investing in marketing and infrastructure and skilling the workforce are key areas that industry has long supported as priority areas. I love seeing some ambition from our political leaders and that’s what we see in the Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy with clear goals to increase visitor expenditure by 58 per cent to $36.5 billion and create an extra 114,700 jobs (up 55 per cent) over the next ten years.
TTF has been championing the need for dedicated economic strategies for the visitor economy right across every jurisdiction in Australia and it is absolutely fantastic to see the Victorian Government positioning the State to be in the front seat of this economic juggernaut. Industry looks forward to the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government to make this strategy a reality and we are confident that a strong partnership will ensure that we don’t just mean the targets for new jobs and economic activity but exceed them.
Building on the good works in Victoria, Tourism Research Australia has released its latest update on the tourism investment pipeline – more than 170 tourism investment projects across Australia worth a whopping $59.8 billion (up 12 per cent) are fuelling the expansion of Australia’s visitor economy, creating thousands of new jobs and economic wealth for the nation.
The Tourism Investment Monitor 2016 shows that Australia is on the right track with our visitor infrastructure with airlines making positive decisions to expand their fleets and providing additional capacity for travellers to come to Australia. An increase in international visitors means more investment in providing accommodation for them to stay during their holidays and that in turn fuels investment in attractions, experiences and services for them to undertake while here.
Tourism continues to be a good news story for the Australian economy but we can do so much better with a concerted partnership between Government and industry to allow the sector to reach its full potential. That means working to boost Australia’s overseas destination marketing, cutting the cost of travel for international visitors by slashing visa fees and the Passenger Movement Charge, investing in visitor infrastructure and public transport, securing the skilled workforce for the industry and improving the visitor experience at the border.