17 December 2009

Boost in funding for a bumper Australian working holiday year

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The Australian Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has outlined a government investment plan that should see a bumper year for working holidays and Australian tourism.

Mr Ferguson recently unveiled the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy  and announced more than $8 million in funding to boost Australian tourism, which should see Australia further build on its reputation and become the premier destination of choice for working holidays as well as tourism and investment.

For example, the number of Australia Visas issued for working holiday makers has risen steadily from 76,570 in the year 2000-2001 to 187,696 in total in 2008-2009.

Mr Ferguson said the strategy, which has been endorsed by all state and territory governments, seeks to unlock investment in tourism businesses, hotels, airports and infrastructure.

“This strategy is not about new marketing campaigns,” he said.

“It’s about making sure Australia can meet the demand and the expectations created by our marketing. It is about ensuring we have the new product, the tourism infrastructure, and the skilled workforce we require.

Tourism is a $40 billion industry in Australia which generates more than 10 per cent of total Australian exports and directly employs around half a million people, but the country’s share of global tourism has declined 13 per cent since the mid 1990s.

The strategy seeks to address this by providing expertise, infrastructure and innovation.


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