Rohan Lund, NRMA

Australia’s tourism industry has the potential to grow visitor nights in Australia to one billion by 2029-30 and contribute $150 billion to the national economy, according to a new report from the NRMA called Are We There Yet?

The NRMA, the largest motoring organisation in Australia, is a major tourism investor owning a $800+ million portfolio across Thrifty Car Rentals, Manly Fast Ferries, Travelodge, Hotel Kurrajong and Holiday Parks in six states.

NRMA CEO, Rohan Lund said more should be done to promote regional and domestic tourism.

“While International visitors spend 12 times more than the average Australian, domestic tourism is still the nation’s major breadwinner,” he said.

“In 2016-17, tourism expenditure in local communities totalled $110 billion, with 75% generated by Australians travelling domestically.”

Lund said the NRMA has listed five priority areas to grow the visitor economy:

  • What gets measured gets done: Establish a Tourism 2030 Industry Potential Target, set regional growth targets and re-establish visitor economy taskforces.
  • Inspire Journeys: Support new ways to bring nature-based tourism to market, reform regional tourism grants, develop state based cruise strategies and establish a target to grow regional events.
  • Aid Discovery: Develop tourism and transport strategies in each state, transition signage to one consistent colour, develop investment strategy for digital wayfinding and progress a national program to improve rest stops.
  • Create meaningful engagement: Encourage vocational training in tourism, review recent changes to skilled migration visas and expand empowerment programs to support regional tourism.
  • Live like a local: Encourage technology-based programs that link visitors with local communities and support indigenous employment and business mentoring.

“It is well within the nation’s capacity to tackle these challenges if industry and government work together. We need to be proactive and plan now.”

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