With the announcement of the new Abbott government, the tourism industry has been presented with some surprising news – there will be no Tourism Minister.
This presents the first time in 40 years that Australia has not had a federal Tourism Minister providing a single point for leadership and direction for the industry.
It has been announced that responsibilities will be split between Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, who will deal with international tourism, and Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane, who will oversee domestic tourism.
“Until new arrangements are better explained there will be considerable confusion with issues such as how domestic and international tourism responsibilities will effectively work together, and the future of T-QUAL and the associated grant programs,” says Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman.
“We have already been advised that the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has halted the 2013 round of T-QUAL – Tourism Quality Projects and Round 2 of the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund until the Minister responsible for Tourism is appointed and briefed on the programs. The decision also applies to Strategic Tourism Investment Grants (STIG).”
Mr. Hillman added, “we look forward to the Government’s explanation on how the splitting of Tourism responsibilities between two ministers will benefit the industry.”
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