Political Guts


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We live in Paradise.
Lets bring the world here, and show them!

In a rapidly changing, and ever more populous world, with increasing levels of affluence, tourism is likely to be an ever growing industry.  Travel is becoming ever easier, with high speed trains, fuel efficient, air conditioned cars, better roads, affordable air travel, and great lifestyle and armchair tourist television programs inspiring people to use them, high employment and generally higher wage levels, the tourism industry has a momentum that is only likely to increase.

However, it can go off like a bomb, with people scattered to the far corners of the globe, or be targeted to specific tourist attractions.  The difference initially will be in effective promotion and marketing, or the travelling public will travel elsewhere.

Secondly, there needs to be genuine, high quality tourist attractions at the end of their travels.  These need to be profitable businesses, which are well positioned and supported to take proper advantage of the promotions being done.

This calls for a very high degree of coordination within the industry between the various partners.  These partners include government departments, promotional bodies, travel agencies, sources of funding, travel companies, airlines, taxi fleets, railways, coach lines and specialist tour companies and the various accommodation resorts, hotels and accommodation service organizations.

The industry members in one sense are competing with each other for an amount of business that could be seen as limited.  However, there is a global pool of tourism from which to draw, to invite to Australia, which will increase the local pool of tourists for all to share.

This suggests a multi-tiered approach to promotion and marketing.  The global marketing thrust is for the top tier of marketing expertise, in conjunction with the major industry partners.  This would include government departments, airlines, major hotel chains and state governments.  The aim is to bring people from around the world to Australia to holiday.

The second tier of marketing will invite the tourists to the different states, by marketing their unique features.

The next tier of marketing will invite the tourists into the regions, and so on, down to local town and specialised tourist attraction.

However, with the internet the powerful force in marketing that it has become, the vast majority of intending travellers will research their destination in advance over the internet via their websites and make their final decisions based on what they find.  This suggests an increased need for individual attention to marketing expertise to a global standard.

The role of government in this industry is to provide the global expertise and network of contacts for the industry bodies and individual tourist operators to access, and the infrastructure and funding necessary to ensure the messages get out to the potential tourists. 

Infrastructure includes but is not limited to a government department with the international network of contacts, tourism support bodies, international promotional trips and expos, educational and training support for local operators at all levels, and a business operational environment that enables the businesses to function effectively, without being taken away from the business of being a tourist and tourism business.  It also requires a very high speed broadband internet system, which is currently available around most of the rest of the world, but not yet in Australia.

Most tourism operators are small businesses, which, in Australia, are currently bogged down in administrative work and taxation reporting.  A prime means of supporting them is to change the taxation regime to the Transaction Tax that has been discussed elsewhere.  However, the benefits of this would be in the freeing of time of the operator to actually work with the tourists, do face to face promoting and having a far lower cost structure.

A further, flow-on benefit is that with the transaction tax regime, funding dollars would extend approximately 50% further, the equivalent of the value of the cost impost of the current taxation system on small businesses.

Whether the new tax regime is installed immediately or over time, the funding to the tourism bodies needs to be sufficient now to create new results.  While tourism and travel spending may be lower now, there is still a budget to be spent on holidays.  Funding from government agencies in general now is based upon how meagre the amount invested can be, whilst what really needs to happen is an attitudinal change, so that funding is seen as the fuel that provides the traffic flow required for the businesses to be profitable.

With the cost of fuel price increases to the industry in lost bookings, from people deciding that the cost of travel is too high, or that the cost of fuel has affected their family budget so much that holidays and travel are no longer part of it.  Fundamental changes in the tax regime will affect the cost of fuel, with approximately one third of the current price being shaved immediately off the cost of fuel and between 15% and 40% more money in the monthly income stream, travel and holidays will again immediately be on the shopping lists.

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