The strategy, THRIVE 2030: The Re-Imagined Visitor Economy, provides a roadmap to rebuild Australia’s visitor economy and return to sustainable growth for the sector.
“The THRIVE strategy recognises that Australia’s prosperity is contingent on a strong visitor economy. With the tourism industry ready to roar back to life, the THRIVE strategy has come at the right time,” executive chair of Australian Chamber – Tourism John Hart said.
“After engaging with Austrade throughout the consultation process, Australian Chamber – Tourism is pleased to see a recovery strategy that incorporates a strong vision, solid targets and an actionable plan.”
Mr Hart said the interests of Australia’s visitor economy were best served by a strongly aligned strategy that defines the sector’s potential and how it will be achieved.
He noted that international and domestic tourism was worth $166 billion a year to the Australian economy prior to the pandemic, supporting more than one million jobs.
“The success of the strategy will see the economic contribution of tourism increase to $230 billion by 2030, benefitting all Australians,” Mr Hart said.
As an appointed member of the THRIVE Workforce and Skills Technical Working Group, Mr Hart will develop measures to address crisis-level workforce shortages across the visitor economy, as well as secure and maintain a high-quality workforce for the future.
“Given workforce shortages are a critical issue facing businesses in the tourism sector, the focus on growing a secure and resilient workforce is critical,” Mr Hart added.
“An initial investment of $142.3 million from the federal government will be pivotal to the strategy’s success. Importantly, this funding includes an additional contribution of $60 million over three years to attract international visitors from new and diverse international markets, and $4.8 million for Tourism Research Australia to capture valuable sectoral data.”
Mr Hart also praised the federal budget for its commitment to small business and the tourism sector. The government will invest a $63 million contribution for marketing initiatives to accelerate international tourist and backpacker arrivals.
“This is a critical component to attract visitors in a highly competitive international market,” Mr Hart said.
“Pent-up domestic and international demand means consumers are ready to get back to travelling, supporting the tourism industry to bounce back. Targeted financial assistance and other key policy initiatives announced will be crucial to assist in the recovery for this hard-hit industry.”