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Tourism wants government funding

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In anticipation of a $1 billion loss, the tourism industry has asked for Federal Government help in the form of market development support. Managing director of the Australian Tourism Export Council Matt Hingerty says inbound tourism will lose out on about $1 billion in revenue this year and has asked the government to provide extra funding through the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme. The EMDG scheme is administered by the Australian Trade Commission to assist exporters with marketing and market development. Many exporters have considered it underfunded for the past few years. "The previous government extended the conditions of it but didn't match that with funding, so as a result there's not enough money to go around," said Hingerty. He also mentioned that incidence of the swine flu could be an opportunity for the tourism sector to take advantage of the domestic market: "We often find when there is an issue like this that people don't stop travelling altogether, they just change their destinations and they change their plans."

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