Tourism ministers to collaborate on workforce and aviation
- Zoe Bettison MP, South Australian Minister for Tourism
Australian tourism ministers from across the political spectrum have come together today in Adelaide, to agree on the next steps to support the recovery of our visitor economy.
The Tourism Ministers' Meeting (TMM), hosted by Federal Trade Minister Don Farrell and South Australian Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs Zoe Bettison, was the first in-person meeting of tourism ministers under the Albanese Government.
Ministers affirmed their commitment to returning the visitor economy to pre-COVID expenditure levels of $166 billion by 2024.
Ministers also endorsed a collaborative workplan to deliver over the coming 12-18 months.
Under this plan, Ministers agreed to:
- Work together on solutions to ongoing challenges in the critical aviation sector.
- Focus on rebuilding a strong, skilled workforce and promote the tourism industry to workers as a career of choice.
- Work with their education colleagues to speed up mutual recognition of tourism qualifications and ensure tourism training is included in fee-free TAFE programs.
- Stand with the sector and help rebuild it so more than 300,000 mostly small businesses that rely on the visitor economy can thrive.
- A focus on insurance, sustainability, Indigenous tourism, tourism in national parks and accessible tourism.
This commitment extends to the longer-term as well by backing in Australia's national strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030, where we are working to grow expenditure to $230 billion by 2030, while achieving a regional spending target of $100 billion.
Ministers thanked the nation's tourism workers and business owners for their resilience and persistence during the pandemic.
They recognised that tourism was one of the hardest hit sectors, but were encouraged by the early signs of recovery.
Quotes attributable to Minister Farrell:
“I thank state and territory tourism ministers for their collaborative spirit and hard work plotting a path forward today.
We all understand that a healthy tourism workforce and industry go hand in hand and are crucial to Australia's economy.
The industry is bouncing back strongly, but there is work to do. There is no silver bullet, but by working together and empowering key stakeholders we are mapping a way forward that will benefit all Australians and the broader economy.”
Quotes attributable to Minister Bettison:
“There is a real sense of shared purpose among tourism ministers to work together and address the ongoing challenges as the sector recovers.
According to latest data from Tourism Research Australia, since international borders reopened in late February, the international market has surged to $272 million – well up on its pandemic low point of just $15 million in March 2021.
For South Australia in particular, an increase in international tourism and a new post-pandemic record interstate spend have helped drive the total value of the state's visitor economy to $6.2 billion – the highest it has been since its COVID-induced low point of $4.4 billion in March 2021.
The tourism industry is a vital contributor to South Australia's economy and I look forward to working with my state and federal colleagues on this important plan to help the industry recover.”
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