Finding Pikachu in the City of Churches? Spending a billion in South Australia, and tourism makes the cut for Cabinet

My search for the ever elusive Pikachu has brought me to Adelaide today. While I certainly don’t plan on quitting my job to become a full-time Pokémon Go trainer as some others are doing, it is fantastic that this remarkable game that is taking the world by storm – launched initially in Australia – is encouraging thousands of people to get outside and see the sites. The long-term implications of this sort of augmented reality technology for our industry is truly astounding and provides lucrative opportunities for those with the willingness to grab hold of them.

I greatly enjoy the opportunity to travel to South Australia to meet with members and stakeholders. South Australia’s international visitor economy is on the cusp of crossing the $1 billion milestone for international visitor expenditure. It currently stands at $954 million in the 12 months to March 2016 – a massive surge of 38 per cent over the previous year. The visitor economy has been a ray of sunshine for the South Australian economy that has been hit particularly hard by the decline of the manufacturing sector. The best advice is keep up the investment in destination marketing, visitor infrastructure and public transport because it is paying a critical dividend to South Australia in desperately needed jobs and economic activity.

TTF has congratulated Prime Minister Turnbull and his ministerial team on their successful re-election and swearing in.

We are very pleased to see Steven Ciobo continuing in his Trade and Investment portfolio and we are ecstatic to see Tourism recognised in his title – Trade, Tourism and Investment! Love it! TTF has been a strong advocate of the need to elevate the tourism portfolio in the national economic debate. It’s a fantastic outcome to see the tourism sector recognized in Minister Ciobo’s Cabinet title and is proof of this Government’s understanding of the industry’s importance to the success of Australia’s future economy.

We congratulate and warmly welcome Keith Pitt on his appointment as Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.  We look forward to developing a close and positive relationship to support the industry and allow it to reach its full economic potential for Australia.

We look forward to working with the new Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan on the important issue of resolving the backpacker tax and its impact on sectors critical to the success of Northern Australia.

Congratulations are also in order to Darren Chester on being re-appointed Minister for Infrastructure & Transport and Paul Fletcher in the renewed Urban Infrastructure portfolio. These are critical portfolios for the tourism and transport industries and we look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with these Ministers.

It has been a great pleasure to work with outgoing Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck. Richard is a passionate advocate for our industry and a great source of advice and assistance to us in our efforts to improve the public policy environment for the tourism and transport industries. We wish him the best in his fight to retain his Senate seat and hope that we will have further opportunities in the future to work collaboratively.

With Parliament set to resume on August 30, TTF will be ready to hit the ground running to continue our advocacy campaign to deliver positive reforms that will help the tourism and transport sectors reach their full potential.