Tourism a large earner in region
THE Economic Importance of Tourism in Australia's Regions report is to be released today by the Federal Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, who is expected to reveal the Northern Rivers economy is one of the largest tourism earners as well as one of the most tourism- dependent regional economies in Australia.
The value of the tourism output to the Northern Rivers in 2007/08 was $1.2 billion.
This was 6.1 per cent of the overall output from the region, making it the14th largest tourism earner and 20th most tourism-dependent region in Australia.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of many regional areas. It creates jobs where people live.
Tourism is a source of employment in the Northern Rivers for many people, including hospitality professionals, uni students, travellers and older Australians looking for part-time employment,” Mr Ferguson said.
Page MP Janelle Saffin said the Northern Rivers was rightly proud of its tourism industry.
“We know regional areas see 46 cents in every dollar of tourism spending,” she said.
“So our local industry isn't just important to the people who work in it, it's important to everyone who lives here.
“Government is working across ministerial portfolios to strengthen the tourism industry.
"Employer Brokers is a good example, operating across the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley areas.
"This scheme helps hotel and catering managers to find the staff they need.”
Richmond MPJustine Elliot said the Northern Rivers region had a great tourism story to tell.
“We're part of the Legendary Pacific Coast Tourism Initiative, an Australian Government TQUAL Grants project which stretches from Sydney to the Queensland border. It includes signposting, website development, branding, innovation and project management. It aims to encourage visitors to stay longer and to spend more widely across the region,” she said.
Tourism ministers from all jurisdictions meet in Darwin later this week to discuss a two-year work program to drive greater regional tourism resilience under the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy.
The Economic Importance of Tourism in Australia’s Regions report will be at www.ret.gov.au/tra after 9am.