Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism, Kevin Hogan has urged Labor to reinstate $35 million in funding cuts to Tourism Australia after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released new data indicating the return of international tourists to Australia is seriously lagging.
“ABS figures confirm the return of international tourists is worryingly low, at only 25% of pre- pandemic 2019 levels” Mr Hogan said.
“The Prime Minister needs to start backing our tourism operators and regions reliant on the international market. Tourism Australia is the agency responsible for marketing Australia as the destination of choice to international holiday makers. The decision to cut $35 million from their funding in Labor’s first budget was exceptionally poor.”
“In 2019, 9.5 million international visitors travelled to Australia with almost half nominating holidaying as the reason for travel.”
“In 2022, only 28% of the 3.7million international arrivals indicated they were actual holiday makers. This is a real concern for tourism operators and regions reliant on the lucrative international market.”
“Australian tourism operators are largely made up of small and medium businesses who were smashed when international and domestic borders were shut during the pandemic.”
“While Tourism Research Australia has released a report forecasting the return of international tourism will not bounce back in Australia until 2025. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have reported this year could see international tourist arrivals return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the Middle East.”
“We are now competing against the rest of the world to attract international travellers. It makes no sense for the Labor Government to cut $35 million from the agency tasked with rebuilding our international tourism market.”
“The Coalition in Government backed Australia’s tourism industry with a $60 million plan to bring back international visitors.”
“The Albanese government’s poorly thought-out budget cuts are jeopardising the return of our international tourism market and the businesses and regions reliant on it.”