The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

The Budget builds on the Abbott Government’s commitment to Australia’s tourism industry particularly across infrastructure development, overseas brand promotion and investment attraction.

Minister for Trade and Investment, with responsibility for tourism, Andrew Robb said that since the Federal Government identified tourism as one of five National Investment Priorities, good progress has been made. 

“Our tourism industry achieved record results in 2014, with international expenditure up 9 per cent to an all-time high of $30.7 billion, and our tourism investment pipeline growing by 9 per cent,” Mr Robb said.

“100 million Chinese went on an international holiday last year, and this is set to more than double to some 250 million outbound Chinese by 2020. The Government is determined to ensure Australia captures a growing share of this lucrative market, already worth $5 billion annually to our economy.”

The Budget will provide $36.7 million over the forward estimates in additional funding for Tourism Australia to support marketing activities abroad. This is the result of new foreign exchange arrangements that see Tourism Australia compensated for a weaker Australian dollar, consistent with Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio partners.

Key Budget Outcomes for Tourism:

  • Ongoing support for Tourism Australia including an $8.6 million increase in Government appropriation in 2015/16 and a projected total increase of $36.7m over the forward estimates ($8.6m in 2016/17, $8.9m in 2017/18 and $10.5m in 2018/19) due to the application of new foreign exchange arrangements consistent with Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio partners.
  • $30 million to increase promotion of foreign direct investment in priority areas such as tourism infrastructure, including increased resources for Austrade’s global investment teams.
  • $18 million for an expanded series of Australia Week trade and promotional events in China, India, US and ASEAN, promoting Australia as a world class tourism destination and a valued trade and investment partner.
  • $5.2 million to expand Austrade’s Match Australia Programme, showcasing Australia to international business people attending major sporting events such as the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Budget builds on the Government’s recent support for tourism, which includes:

  • Striking a landmark air services agreement with China that will see capacity triple over the next 18 months from 22,500 seats per week last year to 67,000 per week by the end of 2016.
  • Announcing three-year, multiple-entry visas for approved tourist and business applicants from China.
  • Launching pilots for online visitor visa lodgement for China and India, with full roll-out by the end of the year.
  • An unprecedented Work and Holiday Arrangement (concluded alongside the China Australia Free Trade Agreement) which will welcome 5,000 Chinese Work and Holiday Makers into Australia annually.
  • Freezing the Passenger Movement Charge for the current term of office.
  • Appointing a dedicated Tourism Senior Investment Specialist from the private sector to help facilitate investment opportunities.
  • Rolling out a $43 million Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme with the overwhelming majority of states and territories announcing key projects.
  • Extending streamlined SmartGate traveller processing trials to visitors from Hong Kong and China during 2015.

Media enquiries

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