Tourism industry is our lifeblood

THE reliance of the Mid North Coast on tourism as an economic driver has been highlighted by new figures from the Federal Government.

It has put the value of tourism in our region at $2 billion a year.

Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said the figure was contained in the Economic Importance of Tourism in Australia's Regions report.

He said the report revealed the Mid North Coast's economy is one of the largest tourism earners as well as one of the most tourism dependent regional economies in Australia.

“The value of the tourism output to the Mid North Coast in 2007/08 was $2 billion,” Mr Ferguson said.

“This was 8.7% of the overall output from the region, making it the ninth largest tourism earner and eleventh most tourism dependent region in Australia.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of many regional areas; it creates jobs where people live. Tourism is a source of employment in the Mid North Coast for many people, including hospitality professionals, uni students, travellers and older Australians looking for part-time employment.”

Senator Michael Forshaw said the Mid North Coast was rightly proud of its tourism industry.

“We know regional areas see 46 cents in every dollar of tourism spending so our local industry isn't just important to the people who work in it – it's important to everyone who lives here,” Senator Forshaw said. “The Mid North Coast has been supported by the Australian Government through marketing campaigns such as Tourism Australia's $150m global “There's Nothing Like Australia” campaign.

“The Mid North Coast is part of the Legendary Pacific Coast Tourism Initiative. This is an Australian Government TQUAL Grants project which stretches from Sydney to the Queensland border. The project includes tourist signposting, website development, branding, innovation and project management.

“Tourism businesses on the Mid North Coast have never had a better opportunity to mesh their new investments with the millions of dollars going into tourism campaigns at home and overseas.”

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