Impact Publications : MiceBTN_59
MICEBTN - MAY 2015 • Page 9 Most industry bodies support Australia budget, albeit with important youth, visa concerns THE REACTION to Joe Hockey’s 2015 Australian Government budget has been substantially positive. Praise from indus- try groups is balanced by visa fee and other concerns, but the overall mood has been upbeat. Hockey’s willingness to boost tour- ism funding in the same document that sounds a dire warning of deficit impacts seems to confirm that the Abbott ad- ministration is genuinely committed to helping grow tourism. The Budget also has provided more ammunition for Andrew Robb, whose trade and investment ministerial portfoli- os give him responsibility for tourism. Robb has in recent weeks linked with state and territory ministers to talk up the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastruc- ture (TDDI). After Hockey’s announcement, Robb said that since the government identi- fied tourism as one of the five National Investment Priorities, “good progress” had been made. The Budget saw a substantial increase in Tourism Australia funding, largely tied to the application of new foreign exchange arrangements. A$30 million will be spent promoting foreign direct investment in priority areas such as tourism infrastruc- ture, A$18 million on Australia Week trade and promotional events which tend to be quite effective in delivering a tourism message and A$5.2 million to expand Austrade’s Match Australia program, which showcases the country to busi- ness people attending major sporting events such as the 2016 Olympics. The Australia Tourism Export Council also expressed concern at the negative impact created by visa fee increases that might render Australia less competitive. “Today’s traveller is highly discern- ing and price-sensitive, and visa fee hikes present an added barrier that can andrew Robb, Australia’s minister for trade & investment Over 25 properties in 11 locations across Tasmania. Specialising in affordable package rates for: - Accommodation - Car Hire - S pirit Of Tasmania - Tours & Attractions Call our local friendly staff today! Freecall 1800 030 111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tasvillas.com Book your holiday with TasVillas Group the Tasmanian Holiday Specialists — A one stop booking service for Tasmania. work against even the best marketing effort,” said ATEC managing director Peter Shelley. “Also of concern is the impact of changes to working holiday maker visa fees and the removal of the tax- free threshold that will affect around 200,000 youth travellers who visit Aus- tralia each year and spend an average of A$13,000 during their stay.” Overall, however, ATEC was delight- ed at the funding top-up for Tourism Australia and other measures. The TDDI program overall will see A$43.1 million in federal funding applied to projects in tandem with state govern- ments and local industry. Tasmania, for instance, will see A$800,000 of projects including East Cove Jetty at Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, Devil’s Corner visitor node, Cra- dle Mountain Visitor Experience master plan, Northern Tasmanian cycling strate- gy and infrastructure audit, the Wukalina to Larapuna Cultural Walk, development of visitor amenities at Derwent Bridge, Launceston interpretative information and way-finding, and a Geeveston Visi- tor Hub feasibility study. Abu Dhabi to host IBTM 2016 IBTM ArABIA 2016 will take place at the 5-star Jumeirah at Etihad Tow- ers in Abu Dhabi from 09 – 11 February 2016.