The Abbott Government’s strong support for the tourism industry across the key areas of infrastructure development and overseas brand promotion in growing markets such as China has been affirmed in the Budget.

The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

The Government has identified tourism as one of five National Investment Priorities with a particular emphasis on leveraging international demand and investment to help further grow our industry.

New research shows that more than 929,000 Australian jobs are linked to tourism and for every dollar that is spent on tourism, an additional 90 cents is generated in other parts of the economy. Tourism lists among Australia’s top strengths, the things we do as well as any country and better than most.

Key budget outcomes for tourism

  • $43 million for a new Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme to support the states and territories to develop key tourism infrastructure to stimulate tourism demand in their states, territories, cities and regions.
  • $10 million in new funding for the Australia-China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme, to further improve the visitor experiences of Chinese tourists. China is Australia’s biggest tourism market worth more than $4 billion annually.
  • $2 million to support the staging of the successful Australia Week in China (AWIC) again in 2016, the promotion of our tourism brand is a key component of AWIC.
  • $600,000 to transition responsibility for the T-Qual Accreditation Programme from Government to industry with industry best placed to assess the quality of tourism offerings.

The Budget also reaffirms the Government’s funding support for Tourism Australia, our dedicated tourism marketing agency and also provides for an increased, direct allocation of the Asia Marketing Fund to Tourism Australia to capitalise on emerging opportunities in Asia.

The Budget builds on the Government’s other early tourism achievements, which include:

  • the elevation of tourism to Cabinet level alongside foreign affairs and trade;
  • freezing the Passenger Movement Charge which increased under Labor;
  • announcing multiple entry three-year visas for Chinese business visitors;
  • approving additional air access into Australia during Chinese New Year to cater for increased visitor demand;
  • announcing a trial to allow Singaporean e-passport holders to use SmartGate self-processing facilities in Australia’s eight major airports;
  • allowing international visitors attending the Cricket World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand to utilise a single visa;
  • ruling out a night-time curfew at Brisbane Airport;
  • staging of a series of senior international investment roundtables abroad with a focus on high-grade tourism infrastructure in Australia;
  • making a decision in regard to a second Sydney airport; and
  • the Government will scrap the carbon tax which cost the accommodation sector alone $115 million in its first year.

The Government has also committed to the ambitious Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by the end of the decade to more than $115 billion.

These measures demonstrate that Australia is open for business, open for visitors and open for tourism.  

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555