Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham
Senator Simon Birmingham has taken charge of the Federal Tourism portfolio

The revolving door at the federal government’s trade, tourism and investment portfolio has swung back into action, with the hotel industry welcoming another Minister in charge following another cabinet shuffle under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham has today been sworn in as the new Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment at Federal Cabinet level, replacing Steven Ciobo who moves to Defence.

Accommodation Association of Australia CEO Richard Munro has sent his congratulations on behalf of the industry to Senator Birmingham and new Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

“Both before and after he entered Parliament, Mr Birmingham has been a strong advocate for tourism – including recognising the importance of tourism to the economy in his maiden speech in Parliament.

“On behalf of our members, the Accommodation Association has been actively involved in the development of a new national long-term tourism strategy for Australia and we look forward to Minister Birmingham delivering this in the near future,” Munro added.

Tourism in Australia is a multi-billion dollar industry.

In a welcome letter posted on his website, Senator Birmingham recognised his former role working in Australia’s wine, tourism and hospitality industry himself and that he looked forward to supporting the hardworking Australians whose efforts underpin the nation’s prosperity.

“Australia’s openness to the world is an essential ingredient in the jobs of millions of Australians, which have been made stronger through the achievements of our Liberal National Government,” he said”.

The AAoA chief shared his blueprint on short-term goals he wished to put before the new Minister, which included requiring online travel agencies to pay more tax in Australia.

Munro acknowledged new Prime Minister Morrison’s pre-parliamentary role as Managing Director of Tourism Australia, highlighting his understanding of the sector to the national economy.

“It’s positive that Mr Morrison has chosen to have industrial relations as a Cabinet Minister portfolio by name because this policy area remains a critical one for the majority of operators of accommodation businesses, who are small businesses, many of which are located in regional and rural Australia.”

Outgoing Minister Steven Ciobo yesterday distributed his farewell thoughts via social media, expressing his gratefulness for the opportunities which were created under his watch. These included securing “record funding for Tourism Australia” which contributed to higher inbound tourist arrivals to Australia and convening early meetings to develop Australia’s next long term strategy.