New Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister, Dan Tehan.

The hospitality and accommodation sectors have warmly welcomed Dan Tehan to the portfolio of Trade, Tourism and Investment following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s late 2020 Cabinet reshuffle.

The appointment of Minister Tehan to oversee the ongoing management and development of Australia’s tourism industry comes following the elevation of Simon Birmingham to the Finance portfolio, replacing Mathias Cormann who has stepped down from his roles in the Senate.

“My electorate of Wannon is a popular tourist destination, so I have seen firsthand the jobs and businesses that it supports and its importance to the life of our nation and, in particular, regional communities,” Minister Tehan said.

“Australia is a world-leading tourist destination that offers incredible attractions, activities and services. I will be proud to represent Australian tourism to the world.”

Tourism and Transport Forum CEO, Margy Osmond, welcomed Tehan to his new portfolio, saying the organisation already holds a close working relationship with the Minister.

“TTF on behalf of Australia’s tourism, transport, aviation and accommodation industry looks forward to working closely with Minister Tehan and his team as the domestic tourism sector continues to lose AUD$3.6 billion a month as COVID-19 hotspots like that in Sydney’s Northern Beaches continue to emerge and travel remains subdued,” Osmond said.

“Our industry both nationally and in the Minister’s home state of Victoria has been hit for six and is clearly still in survival mode. We will relay our concerns and challenges but also importantly specific opportunities to Minister Tehan in the new year, as a matter of priority.”

Australian Tourism Export Council MD, Peter Shelley, said the road to recovery will be long, particularly for those businesses in the tourism export sector.

“The path ahead will be different from the one we have been on but it also provides us with an opportunity to reshape ourselves as the tourism industry of the future which embraces new technology, new markets and a new type of visitor,” he said.

Australian Tourism Industry Council Executive Director, Simon Westaway, said Minister Tehan’s seniority and track record on reform put him in good stead to lead the tourism sector.

“Sustaining open domestic borders and the confidence that they stay open is what gets Australians truly travelling and again call for a nationally consistent approach to virus hotspots,” Westaway said.

All three organisations heaped praise on outgoing Cabinet representative, Simon Birmingham, for his focused and “laser-like” management of the sector through its toughest year on record.