Tourism’s strong economic contribution has again been highlighted in new figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
But growth in the tourism sector could be even more positive if the Morrison Liberal Government was listening to the sector and investing in skills, training, tourism infrastructure and domestic marketing.
The Tourism Satellite Account statistics show direct tourism Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.4 per cent in volume terms, compared to real GDP growth of 1.9 per cent in 2018/19.
Direct tourism Gross Value Added also increased by 3.3 per cent, while domestic and international tourism consumption in Australia was up 3.1 per cent.
Tourism also continues to create tens of thousands of jobs and sustains hundreds of thousands more across Australia.
Employment in the sector increased by approximately 21,500 last financial year, bringing the number of people employed in this vibrant and dynamic sector to approximately 666,000.
October overseas arrivals figures released today also demonstrated growth, highlighting the considerable demand for Australian tourism offerings.
Labor welcomes these figures but we know they could be even higher.
Employment opportunities will remain limited under a Government that continues to ignore the issues impacting the sector – issues such as the skills shortage which is resulting in seven out of ten tourism employers experiencing skills deficiencies in their workforce.
The Vocational Education and Training sector is the primary supplier of workers in the tourism industry but the Liberal Government has presided over a skills crisis, slashing $3 billion from TAFE and training.
Until these issues are addressed, Australia cannot fully capitalise on the strengths of the tourism sector and will continue to miss many of the opportunities this vibrant and vital industry affords our nation.