Australia's aquatic and coastal attractions on show to the world

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I was extremely proud to announce the latest chapter of the Tourism Australia There's Nothing Like Australia marketing campaign on Australia Day 2016.

Aussie movie star Chris Hemsworth is the star the campaign and helps to showcase Australia's aquatic and coastal attractions to the world. The campaign will play a role in attracting visitors and driving spending right across the country.

North to south, east to west and everything in between, there is a wonderful diversity of aquatic and coastal experiences in Australia.

Presently 70 per cent of our international visitors enjoy an aquatic and coastal experience during their trip so we are building on one of our great strengths and reflecting the Government's move to more targeted international tourism marketing.

There are many opportunities for the industry to help and share in the success of this campaign; they can submit aquatic and coastal videos and photos to be featured through Tourism Australia's social media channels or send new aquatic and coastal story ideas to Tourism Australia.

Industry can also access new campaign assets from Tourism Australia's image and video galleries for use in their own marketing activities.

To find out more about the aquatic and coastal campaign visit the Tourism Australia website

You can read my media release here

Record breaking year for international tourism

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On 18 November 2015 I released Tourism Research Australia's State of the Industry 2015 report which reveals a record breaking year for Australia's tourism industry.

International visitor inbound arrivals increased by 6.6 per cent to a record 6.6 million arrivals in 2014-15.

International tourism expenditure also reached a new high of $33.4 billion in 2014-15 following growth of 10 per cent.

Australia's domestic tourism is also thriving - with 83.2 million overnight trips recorded last financial year which is the highest on record.

Since the Government identified Tourism as one the five National Investment Priorities, we have facilitated increased tourism infrastructure investment, built focused international marketing and embarked on visa reforms to make it easier for international tourists to come to Australia.

This report provides further evidence that we are on track to reach the 2020 target of increasing overnight expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by the year 2020.

The full report is available here.

TFES enhancement will boost Tasmanian economy

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In March 2015 the Coalition Government announced a $203 million expansion to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES).

This extension commenced on 1 January 2016, meaning Tasmanian businesses can now send goods via the mainland to markets not previously covered by the Scheme.

Tasmanian businesses selling these goods can claim $700 per shipping container and shippers from King Island and the Furneaux Group of Islands will be eligible for a 15 per cent additional loading.

The expanded TFES will boost the competitiveness of Tasmanian businesses and provide a substantial incentive for local businesses to sell their products to broader markets.

Each time there had been an increase in capacity or an improvement in cost on Bass Strait, there had also been a boost in the Tasmanian economy. This latest enhancement opens Tasmania to the world and means this state is better placed than ever before to play our part in high value global markets.

We promised at the last federal election that we would enhance the scheme and we have delivered on that committment.

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

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The Coalition Governmenthas achieved an important milestone, with the entry into force of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) on 20 December 2015.

ChAFTA is an historic agreement that will deliver real benefits to Australia, enhancing our competitive position in the Chinese market, boosting economic growth and creating jobs.

This means excellent outcomes for theAustralian economy and will have flow-on effects for jobs and economic growth - including in my home state of Tasmania.

It will deliver for Tasmania's renowned premium seafood, beef, wine, dairy, horticultural and honey exports.

Tasmanian dairy exports to China are already valued at $7.7 million (2014-15) and the phased removal of tariffs up to 20 per cent will allow businesses to grow and expand into the Chinese market.

It's also great news fortourism -not only will ChAFTA strengthen Australia's inbound tourism industry but it will also create new opportunities for Australian tourism providers in China.

Read my media release about theentry into force of ChAFTA here.

To learn more about how new Free Trade Agreements will create jobs and open up opportunities: http://openforbusiness.gov.au

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