The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has urged the federal government to ensure that changes to skilled labour visas do not disadvantage the tourism industry.
TTF chief Margy Osmond said a continuous pipeline of skilled labour from overseas was vital for sectors such as hospitality, which has ongoing shortages of key staff including chefs and hotel managers.
“Tourism is now a super growth industry in Australia, and a critically important contributor to our national economy,” Osmond said.
“The industry directly employed 580,200 people in 2015-16, or 4.9 per cent of the national workforce, and continues to grow. By comparison, agriculture employed 321,600 people and mining provided 227,800 direct jobs.
“TTF stands ready to work with the Federal Government on the implementation of the new temporary skilled migration program to ensure the best possible outcome for the sector.”
Osmond said Australia’s global campaigns to attract more international visitors had been and continued to be a resounding success.
“We now need to ensure that the industry is sufficiently resourced to continue supporting the visitor economy, which is now a bigger export earner than coal or agriculture, and will continue to grow.”