Tourism Industry Council Tasmania has welcomed the extra $2 million p.a. funding for regional events and the commitment to establishing a whole-of-government approach to tourism, which are the hallmark of the Labor party’s tourism policy announced today in Hobart.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO, Luke Martin, said the industry was, however, disappointed that its repeated calls for investment in tourism marketing has again fallen on deaf ears.

“Labor’s commitment to honour the additional funding for events earmarked in the current forward estimates is welcome, because we know the Events budget is stretched and there are events across the State with potential to become major drawcards for their region.”

“We hope that this increased funding will coincide with the development of a new major events strategy for the State, to apply greater transparency and strategy to the process for determining public funding for major events.”

“We also welcome the Labor Party’s re-commitment to support low-impact private investment in National Parks, and to re-establish a Tourism Sub Committee of Cabinet bringing together the many agencies of government that contribute to the visitor experience, such as Parks, Heritage, Infrastructure and Treasury.”

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO, Luke Martin, said that industry was disappointed that its repeated calls for investment in tourism marketing has again fallen on deaf ears.

“The industry is pleased the additional $1 million announced for marketing in South East Queensland earlier this year will be maintained, but the reality is that this falls far short of what other Australian destinations are investing in tourism marketing, “said Mr Martin.

“The Government’s approach of looking at requests for additional marketing funding on a case by case basis does not provide Tourism Tasmania, or the industry, with any confidence to aggressively pursue new visitor market opportunities.”

“The Tasmanian tourism industry will continue to argue the importance of tourism marketing with whichever side of politics forms government after the next election.”

‘There is a total underinvestment in Tourism Tasmania compared to other destinations across Australia, especially given the relative importance of the tourism to the Tasmanian economy.”

“The Northern Territory for example has a marketing budget two-and-a-half times that of Tasmania’s, for a tourism industry worth half the size of ours.”

“We know funding for tourism marketing also generates an immediate and direct economic return for the state through the additional visitors it brings,”

“Deloitte Access Economic modelling indicates that for every extra $1 million invested in tourism marketing, generates between $6 and $19 million in additional economic activity in the state.”

“The Labor party has a proud record of supporting the growth in Tasmanian tourism over 16 years, and it can be proud of the strong position the industry is in today; however, this policy does reek of a ‘business as usual’ approach at a time when the industry has the potential to go to another level.”

“When you look at some of the commitments being made to other major sectors of the economy that are not achieving results anything like what the tourism industry is, this policy really does leave you asking, “where’s the beef?”.

“The Liberals have not released their full tourism policy yet, but when they do tourism operators will be able to draw their own conclusions about which political party has the greater commitment to support our industry to achieve its full potential.”
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO, Luke Martin