Submissions sought for Australia's next tourism strategy


Consultations are now open on Australia’s next national tourism strategy, with industry stakeholders encouraged to have their say on a draft report developed by the Beyond Tourism 2020 Steering Committee.

The Committee has called for a strategy to increase visitor numbers, trip lengths and spend for all visitors, encourage regional dispersal and empower the tourism industry to thrive in our increasingly digital world.

"Industry and governments must collaborate to target emerging tourism markets, liberalise aviation supply, attract investment in infrastructure, promote tourism workforce pathways and maximise the capture and use of a range of data sources. Doing so will help the industry reach overnight visitor expenditure of between $181 – $250 billion by 2030," the draft report says.

The draft report says the tourism sector will face a variety of challenges – but also opportunities – in the next decade, some of which are outlined below:

Maintaining Australia’s competitiveness

• As governments around the world recognise the importance of tourism’s contribution to economic growth, poverty alleviation and job creation, maintaining Australia’s market share will become increasingly challenging.

• In order for Australia to maintain and potentially grow its market share of international arrivals, it needs government and industry to collaborate and build capacity and capability.

• It is important to ensure international marketing activities are adequately funded to convert aspirational demand to actual visitation to Australia.

• We must continue with policy reform to streamline visa applications, expedite processing times, reduce cost and develop better visa products to make Australia an ‘easier’ place to visit.

• Tourism is a diverse sector consisting mainly of small and medium size businesses. It is important the tax system is simple, efficient and consistent across states and territories, and allows Australian tourism businesses to compete effectively in global markets.

• To remain competitive, it is imperative the cost burden on the travel sector from increases to tourism specific taxes, for example – new aviation security initiatives, the Passenger Movement Charge and visa application charges – are appropriate and not merely applied as a revenue source.

Sharing economy

• The global explosion of sharing economy platforms (such as Airbnb and Uber) cannot be ignored. Such business models are expected to further expand and innovate as they gain widespread acceptance. It is important for the tourism industry to plan for and participate in this evolution.

• The sharing economy will assist to supplement accommodation supply to meet some of the expected future growth in demand.

Technology

• Advances in technology will provide opportunities for tourism businesses to improve productivity and efficiency and enhance consumer experiences throughout the purchase journey by enabling greater customisation of marketing and service delivery. The tourism industry must be equipped with appropriately skilled ICT and social media marketing prodigies, while developing the systems required to deliver visa processing and passenger facilitation environments expected of the modern traveller.

• Real time access, the development of artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality, data personalisation and privacy are necessities today and will require continuous development to enhance the tourism experience. Online connectivity is crucial – destinations, wherever they are located across the country, will need to ensure their network is fast and easily accessible.

The full draft report is available here. Submissions close on March 8.

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