The Tourism Businesses in Australia report released last week has again highlighted the importance of tourism as a job creator.
The report revealed continued growth in the sector, with tourism-related businesses accounting for more than one in eight Australian businesses.
However, it also clearly illustrated that our retail sector is hurting.
Between June 2013 and June 2018, during this Government’s tenure, there has been a reduction of 4569 retail trade businesses.
We know our retail sector is going backwards, having recently recorded its worst annual result since the 1990’s recession.
Australians are struggling; weak consumption is being driven by stagnant wages; household debt is at record highs; almost two million Australians are looking for work or for more work; and living standards and productivity are going backwards.
The majority of tourism-related businesses are small operations and while they tend to drive the growth in the industry, they are also particularly vulnerable to a weakening economy.
Tourism is a super-growth sector and Labor understands the contribution it makes to our economy, employing almost one million people and $100 billion to our national GDP.
As long as the Liberals continue to pretend there isn’t a problem with the economy, it won’t be possible fully capitalise on tourism’s potential and enable more Australians to be employed in this vibrant, dynamic industry.