Where it counts

The Budget looks good for our industry, but are those in tourism their own worst enemy when it comes to funding?

The Federal Budget was another good one for the restaurant and catering industry! Despite a lack of hoo-ha, the funding to continue the implementation of the Tourism White Paper was included in the Budget.

Tourism still did not crack a mention in the Budget, but was obviously included in the Budget papers. The $193.3 million allocation is very important for our industry. One of the key tenets of the White Paper was that yield, as opposed to passengers in aircraft seats, should be the marker of success in tourism. This is clearly shown in the statistics. Whilst the last visitor arrival data released in May shows an increase in arrivals, all of the data shows an increase in spend. This means the dollars are flowing to restaurants. 14.7 per cent of tourism spend is still in restaurants, and the promotion of restaurant income from tourism is up from 31 per cent to 33 per cent. Tourism business is good business for restaurants, and the 2007 Budget provides a commitment to tourism for the next four years.

The advocacy by the tourism industry for continuity of funding was, in all honesty, pretty poor. Minister Bailey and the government at large made the decision to continue supporting tourism on their own. R&CA is keen to ensure that when this decision is taken next time, the industry will facilitate the support  required to continue investing in the country’s second biggest export. We will not be so lucky in 2011.

John Hart
CEO, Restaurant & Catering Australia

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