JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - Tourism Employment Plan prepares Tasmania for growth

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK, Senator for Tasmania, Minister for Tourism and International Education

THE HON WILL HODGMAN, Premier of Tasmania, Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events

9 October, 2015

A new employment plan for Tasmania's North West and West Coast tourism industry will help reskill its workforce and create the capacity to handle stronger growth in traveller numbers.

Australia's Tourism Minister, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Tasmania's Premier and Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events, Will Hodgman, jointly announced development of the Tasmania Tourism Employment Plan today.

"Tourism is one of Australia's most important industries and already employs about a million people nationally but we will need more people working in the industry as visitor numbers increase, particularly from China," Senator Colbeck said.

"This Plan will promote tourism as a career path and help ensure we have enough skilled young people coming into the industry over the next few years."

The Plan will target projects to ease regional employment pressures, ease skill shortages, help retain quality staff, coordinate training needs with business planning, and encourage labour mobility.

It will include measures to promote tourism careers to young people, increase the take-up rate of apprenticeships, improve training and provide more staff accommodation in peak seasons.

Mr Hodgman said the plan was good news for tourism, the economy and jobs.

"It is a record time for tourism in Tasmania, with more people than ever before visiting our state," he said.

"This is especially great for our regional areas like the North West, where the Cradle Coast region has experienced a 10 per cent growth in visitors recently.

"This plan will help to build on that, which is great news for the region because we know that where tourists go, dollars go with them, and that's good for locals pouring beers at the pub, owners of the bed and breakfasts and the guides on the Gordon River Cruise.

"We have set the target of attracting 1.5 million visitors to the state by 2020, which the industry tells us will create an additional 8,000 jobs."

The Plan will be developed over nine months via collaboration between the region's tourism and hospitality industry, the Tasmanian Government and Austrade.

The announcement comes after the Federal and Tasmanian Governments announced almost $800,000 worth of projects under the $43.1 million Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Programme.

Under the Tourism 2020 initiative, the Plan represents a partnership between the Australian and state and territory governments.

The Tourism 2020 Strategy aims to increase overnight tourism spending in Australia to between $115 billion and $140 billion by 2020.

Information about the Tourism Employment Plan and other Tourism 2020 initiatives is at www.tourism.gov.au/labour

091015 Colbeck & Hodgman - Tourism Employment Plan prepares Tasmania for growth
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