Overall, $7.5 million in grants will be distributed across all eight Australian states and territories as part of the Choose Tourism program, with each region applying for funding based on a proposal of projects and initiatives it will use to build its tourism workforce.
“The Albanese Government is committed to growing our tourism industry, and to achieve that we need to ensure they have the workforce they need,” said Australia’s tourism minister, Don Farrell.
The federal government aims to have tourism in Australia back to a pre-COVID spend of $166 billion by the end of next year and grow expenditure to $230 billion by 2030.
New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland each got the largest sums, $1.4 million each, while South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania each received $800,000 and the two territories received $450,000 apiece.
Most states have indicated they will spend at least a portion of the funding on media and marketing campaigns promoting careers in the tourism industry, with NSW to spend its entire allocation on a new omni-channel communications campaign focussed on the visitor economy and Western Australia also devoting all of its funding to a media campaign designed to attract workers to the sector. Queensland will use part of the funding to refresh and amplify its existing “Work in Paradise” campaign, while also spending on a seminar series aimed at helping older people transition into a tourism career. Victoria is planning to launch a visitor economy careers expo with some of its funding.
CEO of Accommodation Australia, Michael Johnson, said the funding was a welcome investment from the Australian government.
“As international visitors return we need to ramp up the recovery of the sector’s workforce.”
“This support, through the states and territories, will provide the flexibility for them to focus on local workforce priorities and strengthen proven programs.”
South Australia’s tourism minister Zoe Bettison said it was “fantastic” to see the federal government taking the lead in growing the labour supply for the visitor economy.
“Through the South Australian Tourism Commission, the South Australian Government is pleased to support the efforts to attract workers and to strengthen diversity in the industry, with a focus on attracting more young people, older workers, people living with disabilities and First Nations people. This will be key to our industry’s ongoing recovery and to help it reach its full potential.”