Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson AM has told the Australian tourism industry to look beyond the current economic situation and prepare for recovery. At the Australian Tourism Export Council’s annual symposium last week, Ferguson admitted that the recession has hit the sector hard: "There is no getting away from the global recession - 28 of the 30 most developed countries in the world are in recession and this has hit tourism hard." However, he went on to say the industry should prepare for the recovery instead of focusing on economic woes, and mentioned that the government had initiatives to boost tourism spending. "The Australian Government's stimulus payments of up to $900 will be paid to 7.6 million people. As tourism depends on discretionary spending, the Government's $42 billion stimulus package will benefit tourism and associated industries in regions throughout Australia," he said. "The stimulus package also dovetails with Tourism Australia's No Leave No Life campaign which ... encourages Australians to turn their 123 million days of accrued leave into a holiday at home to support our tourism industry and the 480,000 people it employs." Ferguson also added that Tourism Australia will spend $90 million a year to market Australia as an international tourist destination. "Now is not the time to talk down the tourism industry; now is the time to prepare for the recovery," he said.