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Tourist attractor, Paul Hogan. Tourist attractor, Paul Hogan. Featured
11 October 2017 Posted by 

COMMENT: BRANDING OUR REGION

Time we had a Minister for Tourism
By Dallas Sherringham, WSBA Travel Editor
TWO key areas the State and Federal Government could assist tourist growth in our region is by providing tax incentives for people to open new attractions and to set aside land for these attractions to be built.
In the past we have see tourist attractions like Australia’s Wonderland and Oran Park gobbled up by development. This occurred because the zoning of the property was either not strict enough to be adhered to or the land was rezoned.
 
We need to establish tourism development zones in all major tourist areas of Australia including Western Sydney. Councils and the State Government need to then adhere to
those zonings and not allow them to be changed so they can then be developed.
 
Tourist entrepreneurs then need to be encouraged to develop attractions on these sites by way of tax incentives and offsets. The Federal Government recently announced a scheme to promote mining exploration in Western Australia.
 
Why not announce a similar scheme for tourism nationwide? Tourism, unlike mining, has the ability to provide long term employment for millions of people.
 
Travel in the world’s most popular nations, China and India, is about to boom. Australia needs to be at the forefront of providing world class attractions to draw these people to regions such as Western Sydney.
 
This cannot be done by private enterprise alone as significant investment is involved in establishing attractions before they make money. BY providing tax offsets and incentives to potential investment partners, tourist developments could then go ahead.
 
It is a sad fact in Australia that tourism has lagged badly at a Federal level. The once mighty Tourism Ministry under the tenure of John Brown and the heady days of Paul Hogan promoting Australia are long gone. 
 
The current Minister for Trade and Investment is also responsible for Tourism with a junior minister in the Outer Cabinet assisting him. In reality, there should be a stand alone Minister for Tourism, such is the importance of the industry to our nation’s future


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