FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch today welcomed the launching of the ‘Staycation’ campaign to encourage Australians to take more domestic holidays in response to the ever growing ‘tourism trade deficit’ that is expected to reach around $8 billion in 2012-13 .
Mr Entsch said he was concerned about the pressures facing the local restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and other tourism operators in his electorate.
These pressures had not been helped by the high dollar, which had reduced Australia’s share of international tourism, whilst at the same time encouraging Australians to holiday abroad.
“Tourism employs 14.7 per cent of workers in my electorate and it is important that we seek to ease the crisis of outbound tourism by urgently increasing the holiday spend of Australians in the domestic visitor economy,” Mr Entsch said.
“Last year, Australians spent 132 million nights abroad, pumping billions of dollars into overseas economies. Whereas a decade ago Australia made a $3bn profit from tourism, nowadays we make a loss of around $8bn.”
Inbound tourism traditionally accounts for around a quarter of the sector’s turnover, whereas activity by Australians holidaying at home is far more important for the national accounts and for the survival of local tourism businesses.
Mr Entsch said Tourism Australia was doing a fantastic job internationally.
“The ‘Staycation’ campaign is a way to build on their efforts and support local restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and other tourism operators by encouraging all Australians to spend their money at home and to remind them about unparalleled diversity of holidays on offer domestically and to holiday prizes as an incentive,” he said.
He said “Staycation” was a worthwhile initiative that all local tourist operators should take advantage of to market their business online by entering the ‘Show Us Your Australia’ competition on the weloveoz facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/weloveoz.
The promotional video featuring Shadow Minister for Tourism and Regional Development Bob Baldwin can be seen here: