The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, is calling on the ACT Government to invest in destination marketing and transport infrastructure to drive the ACT’s continued growth and support its ambition to become one of the world’s most liveable and competitive cities.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the 2017-18 ACT Budget must contain continued investment in road and public transport infrastructure projects to ensure the ACT is well positioned to manage population growth and minimise the cost of congestion.
“Last year Canberra’s population growth rate was the fastest of any state or territory and with the highest population density of any jurisdiction in Australia it is vital that a commitment is made to invest in integrated public transport services in order to minimise the cost of congestion, maximise economic productivity, transform urban environments and support growth in the ACT’s visitor economy,” Ms Osmond said.
“TTF is calling for the ACT Government to work with the Federal Government to progress stage 2 of the Canberra metro. This project has the capacity to transform Canberra by future proofing its public transport network, providing significant opportunities for urban renewal throughout the city and giving commuters a real alternative to driving.
“In order to improve services and lower operational costs of the ACT bus network, TTF would also like to see the ACT Government explore opportunities to introduce a competitive tendering process to franchise the operation of Canberra’s bus network.”
Ms Osmond said that as the ACT’s visitor economy continues to grow so too does the need for the Government to keep increasing funding for destination marketing through Visit Canberra.
“Tourism has become increasingly important to the ACT, directly contributing around $1 billion to the ACT economy and employing more than 10,000 people,” Ms Osmond said.
“Continued investment by the ACT Government in destination marketing, as well as support for major events such as Floriade and the National Folk Festival, will continue to lead to significant growth of the ACT tourism industry.
“TTF also recognises the importance of business events to the ACT economy. Targeted government funding that supports bids to secure high-yield business and major events is a sound investment decision that helps to grow local jobs and encourages domestic and international visitation and tourism opportunities, and TTF urges the ACT Government to increase funding for the Canberra Convention Bureau in real terms over the forward estimates.