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Tourism industry needs reform to survive

Tourism industry needs reform to survive article image

Thousands of job and billions of dollars are at risk if the tourism sector does not undertake reform, according to a report by former Qantas chairwoman Margaret Jackson, who released her government-sponsored review of the tourism industry earlier this week. Produced by the Long Term Tourism Strategy Steering Committee, the Jackson Report contains 10 recommendations to enhance research, online capability, skills and investment in the tourism sector, including improving productive capacity and international competitiveness. Jackson addressed the decline in domestic tourism but also looked at areas where Australia could improve international tourism experiences. "In our consultations we heard a universal view that Australia needs to focus more clearly on developing our tourism industry products based on our competitive advantages - our indigenous culture, landscapes, sophisticated cities and regions, and diverse and friendly people," she said. She also encouraged greater dialogue between the tourism sector and those in government, "to ensure tourism considerations are factored into the wide range of planning, investment and development processes". She added: "If Australia does not make the necessary changes between now and 2030, we risk forgoing 3.6 million international visitors, $22 billion of tourism's contribution to GDP, and as many as 100,000 tourism jobs. This cannot be allowed to happen."

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