Australia’s tourist appeal at risk from poor arrival experience
2 Feb 2024|
Australia’s prized title as one of the most sought-after international destinations risks being undermined by a sub-standard experience on arrival.
The Australian Chamber – Tourism is calling for increased investment to streamline the procedure for tourists entering Australia.
“It is clear that Australia is not keeping pace with the rest of the world regarding passenger facilitation,” Australian Chamber – Tourism executive chair John Hart said.
“Australia’s passenger movement charge is one of the most expensive in the world, and yet we rank 47th worldwide for our entry-point infrastructure.
“We must invest in improvements in our infrastructure and the broader passenger journey, which for many travellers is the first interaction they have with Australia.”
The Chamber’s Future Traveller Working Group has met with industry leaders to understand better passenger facilitation modernisation around the world and how it can be adapted for travellers to and from Australia.
The Chamber’s pre-budget submission calls for increased digitalisation and improved infrastructure instead of the current manual processing systems, which are inefficient and outdated.
“As we prepare to open Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird-Walton) Airport in 2026, and in the lead up to the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics, it is important that we adequately invest in passenger facilitation upgrades now to avoid difficulties down the track,” Mr Hart said.
“By focusing on the areas we have identified now, we can provide a positive experience for all travellers to and from Australia.”
The Chamber also recommends increased funding for Tourism Australia, reforms to the obsolete Tourist Refund Scheme, greater investment in agritourism and support to address workforce shortages.
While travel and tourism has rebounded well since pandemic restrictions were lifted, more needs to happen to ensure that the recovery continues in a sustainable manner.
“We want to see a vibrant and economically viable travel and tourism industry, and the proposals in our submission will help exceed 2019 levels more quickly and build back stronger than it has been,” Mr Hart said.