Tourism’s importance as a job creator in regional Australia has again been confirmed in Tourism Research Australia’s latest report, highlighting the need for greater investment in skills and training.
Figures from the 2017-18 Regional Tourism Satellite Account show the value of tourism to regional communities increased 6.4 per cent to $22 billion in 2017/18.
Regional Australia is home to many of our nation’s most iconic and breathtaking attractions and visitors provide job and business opportunities in those communities.
However, those opportunities will remain limited unless the Liberal-National Government addresses skills shortages, which are acutely felt in regional areas.
Just this week, tourism experts in Tasmania reported that the state is facing a tourism skills crisis and we know businesses in some regional areas have been forced to cut their trading hours because they can’t find staff.
Across Australia, seven out of 10 tourism sector employers have reported skills deficiencies in their workforce, up 11 per cent since 2011.
The Vocational Education and Training sector is the primary supplier of workers in the tourism industry but this sector is hurting under the Liberal Government.
The Liberal Government have completely mismanaged this sector, slashing $3 billion from TAFE and training.
Labor understands that quality tourism offerings create jobs for regional Australia and that quality operations need skilled workers.
We urge the Federal Government to take action to address these skills shortages and enable more communities, particularly those in rural and regional areas, to fully participate in this important industry.