The Australian Government will deliver on its election commitment by investing a further $46 million in government grants over four years in Australia’s tourism future, as confirmed in the 2010-11 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook released by the Treasurer today.
Tourism is a significant part of Australia’s economy; it contributes 2.6 per cent a year to GDP and employs almost a million Australians both directly and indirectly. Despite the strong growth of Australia’s economy over the past decade, Australia’s $33 billion tourism industry has lost market share both domestically and internationally.
That is why the Australian Government is committing $40 million over four years to extend the TQUAL Tourism Grants program and $6 million over four years toward the implementation of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy.
Tourism experiences on the Great Ocean Road and in Tropical North Queensland, Margaret River and the Barossa Valley as well as many other tourism areas have been developed and expanded with the support of Australian Government tourism grants.
The revised TQUAL Grant program will include matching funding on a competitive, merit based process for both small scale and large tourism projects right across Australia.
By providing a particular focus on indigenous economic development TQUAL Grants will support jobs and businesses while building on the unique experiences offered by our Indigenous and cultural heritage. Grant applications are expected to open in the first quarter of 2011.
TQUAL Grants is a highly competitive funding program that was formerly known as the Australian Tourism Development Program. The objective of TQUAL Grants is to stimulate sustainable growth in the Australian tourism industry by supporting initiatives that:
- develop innovative product, services or systems within the tourism industry
- contribute directly to long-term economic development in the host region
- develop or support high quality visitor services and experiences.