Image for Letter to the Editor: Liberals abandon tourism jobs target

*Pic: Ted Mead’s evocative pic of the Pieman River in the Tarkine ...

Before the election the Liberal government had a target of 20,000 people directly employed and 24,500 people indirectly employed in tourism by 2020. The Liberals’ election policies make no commitment to increasing the number of people directly employed in tourism. Instead they aim for “50,000 tourism related jobs by 2022”, lumping direct and indirect figures together.

This matters because direct jobs are people employed in tourism in Tasmania but indirect jobs are non-tourism jobs located across Australia.

Expenditure by tourists coming to Tasmania has indirect benefits for non-tourism industries through consumption of transport fuel, gas, electricity, food. Tourism Research Australia measures this benefit to non-tourist industries and estimates the number of jobs created across the Australian economy.

The Premier’s 50,000 jobs target may be achieved without increasing the number of people directly employed in tourism in Tasmania and most indirect jobs being created on the mainland.

The Liberals policy may reflect the fact that tourism jobs in Tasmania have not increased for ten years and decreased slightly over the first three years of the Hodgman government (TRA statistics).

Victoria and Western Australia had consistent growth in tourism jobs over the last 10 years. We should learn from them and develop strategies to build tourism jobs sustainably.