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Albanese: Gov’t needs to lift tourism funding in budget

Anthony AlbanesePortrait EDITED

Australia’s Shadow Minister for Tourism, Anthony Albanese, says the Federal Government “must lift funding for tourism promotion in next week’s Budget to trigger jobs growth and make up for the cuts they tried to conceal in last year’s Budget”.

“With new research by the Parliamentary Library concluding that [Prime Minister] Tony Abbott cut tourism funding by AUD$5 million in last year’s Budget, he should get serious and provide a real increase.

“The Budget should reinstate funding for the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ long-running Survey of Tourist Accommodation, a critical tool for investors, business and governments which the Abbott Government axed upon being elected.

“It should also provide funding for an Australia Week in China in 2015, bringing it into line with the annual G’Day USA trade fair, reflecting China’s importance as our fastest growing and most important source of overseas visitors.

“Tourism employs nearly one million Australians and is our largest services export. Deloitte has nominated it one of five super-growth industries set to drive jobs and prosperity over the next 20 years.

“A report produced for Tourism Accommodation Australia showed a AUD$16 return for every AUD$1 invested in international marketing.

“At a time when reduced commodity prices are reducing resource sector earnings, the Government should target tourism growth as a way to create jobs,” he said.

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