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Industry welcomes Coalition win

Tony Abbott

The nation’s accommodation and greater travel industry has welcomed the Coalition’s victory last weekend to retake power of the Australian Government.

Mantra Group’s CEO Bob East, winner of Australasian Hotelier of the Year at the 2013 HM Awards, said Australia’s tourism industry is “poised for a brighter future”.

“I’m hoping the Liberal National Party will restore business confidence which will directly improve consumer confidence,” he told HM.

“Australia’s Tourism industry can be restored to a true export industry as we capitalise on the inbound visitors from Asia in particular.

“The Government has indicated they understand the importance of the sector as a major employer throughout all states and territories.

“We expect our industry will grow and over time we hope to consult on other important issues around productivity improvement and pragmatic industrial relations reform.

“At this juncture we are both positive and optimistic,” he said.

The Accommodation Association of Australia’s CEO Richard Munro also welcomed incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“Our industry is set to benefit from the Coalition’s promise to repeal the carbon tax, while accommodation operators also support its proposed freeze of the Passenger Movement Charge and locating tourism under the foreign affairs and trade portfolio,” he told HM.

The freezing of the PMC is also an issue for the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), with CEO Ken Morrison saying he is keen to progress “key issues facing the tourism, transport and aviation sectors with the new Abbott government”.

“As the economy shifts gears, the Abbott government will need to look to industries like tourism for future growth,” Morrison said.

“We believe the Coalition appreciates tourism’s ability to be an economic driver for Australia as the mining investment boom subsides and the people boom takes over.

“With strong growth in travel by Asia’s burgeoning middle classes, our location on the doorstep of Asia means Australia is well positioned to capitalise on this trend.

“We are keen to work with the new government to ensure we realise the potential of this opportunity.

“There are a number of issues that must be dealt with to maximise the tourism industry’s potential as an economic development strategy for Australia.

“A key concern is the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC), which the Coalition has committed to freezing for the term of the parliament.

“We will be seeking to ensure that the PMC is included in the proposed tax review and seeking a review of penalty rates to ensure they better reflect the 24/7 nature of tourism and the broader visitor economy.

“TTF is also looking forward to constructive discussions with the new government on its plans to grow Australia’s aviation capacity and for critical passenger transport projects in our increasingly congested capital cities.”

Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) CEO Jayson Westbury said the Tourism Policy released by the Coalition just in advance of the election “demonstrates that the Abbott Government will be a government for the tourism industry”.

“Bob Baldwin has done an outstanding job as the shadow minister in developing a policy with real outcomes for the tourism industry,” he said.

“Now in government we will look forward to ensuring he and the Abbot Government deliver on these promises,” he told HM.

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has welcomed the election of a new Government, saying that its tourism-friendly policies would benefit the industry, which has faced major economic challenges in the past two years. For that story, click here.

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