The federal government is throwing more money at Australia’s tourism industry, in a new tourism and environmental package.
It’s understood $61.7 million will be spent in total, with just over half of that to help boost a range of tourism offerings around the country.
Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond says it’s great news for a number of projects.
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“This new investment includes $33.5 million towards a range of tourism boosting projects right around the country which will significantly improve our visitor economy offering.
“These projects include walking track upgrades in Northern NSW, water crossings in South-Western Victoria, new mountain bike trails in Northern Queensland, hiking hut upgrades in remote Tasmania and heritage work in South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula and the NT’s Hermannsburg historic precinct.
“We know that nature-based tourism is a major drawcard for many Australians as interstate borders ideally continue to reopen in the leadup to Christmas.
“These investments are critical right now to prepare for the return of domestic tourists hungry for a slice of Aussie nature and landscapes.
Tourism and Transport Forum research has found Aussies are still reluctant to book plane tickets, with many opting to use their cars for travel instead.
That often means they’re choosing holiday destinations within around four hours driving distance from home.
Margy Osmand says more work needs to be done now to recover traveller confidence.
“Intrastate travel is important, but a lack of any real interstate travel options combined with this lack of traveller confidence, threatens the ongoing survival of our aviation industry and inhibits a full-scale recovery in the domestic market.
“It is critical that Government help to re-establish traveller confidence and convert pent up demand into actual travel bookings via a dedicated $50 million ‘COVID Safe Domestic Travel Campaign’, one of the key recommendations in our TTF Budget submission ahead of next Tuesday night.”
The $61.7 million joint package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham also includes $20 million for Great Barrier Reef conservation work, a $5 million upgrade to the Reef HQ tourism facility in Townsville and $3.2 million in support for tourism operators to conduct reef monitoring activity.
More details will be released later today.