Aligning Austrade and Tourism Australia will help tourism industry

The Federal Government's alignment of Austrade and Tourism Australia will help increase international opportunities for the tourism industry, Coalition Policy Committee on Tourism Chair and Federal Member for Bennelong, John Alexander OAM has told a CEDA audience in Sydney.

"By aligning tourism and trade, we've sought to align the work being done with Austrade as our export promotion agency with Tourism Australia, our national marketing agency," he said.

"The synergies here are enormous as they are obvious."

"Tourism is now a priority across our foreign service, with our overseas posts charged with a team Australia approach."

Mr Alexander also said implementing the Federal Government's Tourism 2020 strategy requires collaboration between government and industry.

"Achieving this goal requires government collaboration and support from industry," he said.

On the topic of Tourism 2020, Austrade Chief Executive Officer Bruce Gosper said Australia needs more hotel rooms, more airline seats, better visa processes and quality facilities.

Mr Gosper said meeting all these needs will be challenging given the large number of stakeholders involved.

"There are many jurisdictions involved, state and Commonwealth, many agencies, there's no one agency or instrumentality responsible for tourism policy, it's spread across the economy," he said.

On the relationship with Tourism Australia, Mr Gosper said Austrade must support Tourism Australia but also drive infrastructure projects.

"For us, the big challenge is supporting what's done by Tourism Australia and industry itself in overseas markets," he said.

Also speaking at the event, Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan said the organisation's focus is now about more than just building the Australia brand.

"It's not only about building a brand, building an aspiration about the country…but it's also then about how we convert that," he said.
Mr O'Sullivan said Tourism Australia has adapted marketing strategies in response to increased advocacy in the tourism industry on digital channels.

"We are now starting to move more and more into that space in our social media assets through our Facebook page, Google + partnership and Instagram," he said.

"We know our brand position is very strong, it's about conversion and that's where our social media platforms have really played a part."
Southern China Airlines Regional General Manager - Australia and New Zealand, Henry He said innovation in the tourism industry, is especially important as an airline.

"Innovation is very important for our industry," he said.

Mr He said the company uses innovation to extend its network reach and routes, upgrade aircraft and improve service.