Published on : Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has today congratulated the LNP government and Queensland Labor for putting the critical tourism sector on the election agenda and committing to spending in the future.
TTF is today releasing its tourism priorities document, Queensland Tourism: Backing Our Strengths – An Agenda for the Queensland Government, which details the key projects and investments required to ensure the state’s tourism industry continues to grow.
TTF is also releasing its Queensland Tourism Business Count & Employment Atlas, which shows the vital role tourism plays in generating economic activity and jobs across the state.
The TTF Queensland Tourism Business Count & Employment Atlas (the Atlas) breaks down direct tourism employment by state electoral districts, clearly demonstrating the importance of tourism to every part of Queensland.
“Both parties have released tourism policies outlining their vision for tourism in Queensland, now we are providing ours which we believe should be a blue print for any Queensland government,” said Chief Executive, Margy Osmond.
“The announcements made by the LNP and Queensland Labor have been good steps in the right direction, but there is more to be done.
“Increasing capacity and driving significant expansion in the cruise shipping sector, extending the Gold Coast light rail network to include a link to the heavy rail at Helensvale, and above all, increasing marketing spend are critical to ensuring Queensland’s tourism industry stays strong.
“Queensland is one of the country’s most tourism dependent states but has been steadily losing market share of international visitors since 2009.
Overnight expenditure is currently growing at only half the rate it needs to meet the 2020 target of doubling overnight expenditure.
The policies outlined by TTF will be key to reinvigorating the industry, and the state.
“It has been pleasing to see both parties rule out additional taxes and allocate additional funding to support the tourism industry.
When the industry accounts for 6.9 per cent of total employment across the state, and over 10 per cent in some areas, there is no denying tourism is the powerhouse of the Queensland economy.
“The LNP’s film and events industry fund announced today will provide $60 million over three years. This will be a welcome boost for tourism operators across the state.
“To maximise its benefit, the LNP must ensure the fund supports projects that actually promote visitation to Queensland by showing off the state’s best assets – the beautiful beaches, the wonderful attractions, the tropical rainforest or the iconic Great Barrier Reef.
Any benefit from productions that don’t, will be lost on the tourism industry.
“TTF’s Atlas shows tourism supports 140,000 direct jobs and an additional 101,000 indirect jobs across the state.
At a time when Queensland’s unemployment levels are the highest in the nation, when uncertainty in the commodities sector is continuing to wreak havoc with the state economy, tourism is continuing to provide employment opportunity.
“Importantly, these jobs aren’t confined to big cities. When you look at the eight electorates with the highest proportion of tourism employment, five are in regional areas.
The electorate of Cairns has the highest rate of tourism employment in the state, with nearly 14% of total employment due to tourism.
The electorates of Cook, Barron River, Noosa and Maroochydore are also tourism employment hotspots with the industry accounting for at least ten per cent of total employment.
“Queensland was built on tourism and its future is tourism.
The industry has already been acknowledged as a super-growth industry for Australia and is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy; we are simply encouraging all parties to make tourism the priority it should be.
“Our election priorities document, Queensland Tourism: Backing Our Strengths – An Agenda for the Queensland Government,includes a seven-point plan focusing on four areas:
1. Rule out any new tourism taxes
2. Commit to developing a tourism and transport strategy within the first year of the next parliament
ENHANCE THE VISITOR TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE
3. Commit to the expansion and connection of the Gold Coast light rail to the heavy rail
GROW DEMAND FOR TRAVEL TO QUEENSLAND
4. Increase marketing, events and business events funding and deliver funding over four years to Tourism and Events Queensland
BOOST INVESTMENT IN TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
5. Commit to a funding model for the South Bank cultural precinct
6. Reinvest revenue from regional integrated resort developments in regional Queensland visitor economy infrastructure
7. Invest in cruise ship facilities in Brisbane to accommodation the sector’s rapid growth