Tourism and Transport Forum has congratulated the Coalition Government for achieving a surplus in the Budget, but it has missed a key opportunity when it comes to investing in tourism, one of Australia’s key super growth industries.

“The Budget has gone a long way to delivering much needed infrastructure to support the tourism industry but does not provide enough cash to really sell the product to the world,” TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said.

“The industry hoped for a significant boost to our tourism promotion capacity.

“The terrific tourism visitor figures announced days ago are the product of smart promotion. We cannot rest on our laurels and be complacent. To be a world leading destination you have to invest in the future with real ongoing increases in promotion funding.

“We know that tourism is currently feeling a real boost from a low dollar in a very competitive international market. While we acknowledge the announcement of a $15.6m increase in funding for TA over the forward estimates, it is a relatively meagre increase and a more significant boost is needed to counter previous cuts.

“There is no doubt that the Budget announcements around tax cuts and the surplus will boost consumer confidence and mean more Aussies will spend on tourism and hospitality,” Margy Osmond said.

Prior to the Federal Budget, TTF called on the Government to resist the urge to impose any additional taxes, fees or charges on the sector and improve infrastructure to make destinations easier and more attractive to visit.

The Government has listened on most these issues and we welcome the announcement of:
• $50m to support tourism projects around the country
• Previously announced commitment to funding change and infrastructure in Kakadu which is a critical commitment
• Substantial infrastructure commitments that will increase access to regional Australia and will mean greater prosperity for regional communities

“In the transport space we have seen commitments to roads, congestion busting and investigating high speed rail, all of which are welcomed,” Margy Osmond said.