In his final statement as Chairman of Tourism Australia, Tim Fischer has declared `Greater Darwin’ as the hottest destination at this time, especially if arriving on The Ghan from Adelaide and departing on the Orion along the Kimberley Coast to Broome.
Mr Fischer finishes up as Chairman of Tourism Australia on midnight on 30 June after opening a Museum Annex at Lockhart in the Riverina on that day, the town where he was born.
“On reflection and on departure there are five key ideas I leave herewith, after a challenging but enjoyable three years as Chair of Tourism Australia,” Mr Fischer said.
“Firstly, Tourism Australia needs to stay with the `So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?’ campaign and it will, and there will be in due course a refresh of the tag line such as `So Where The Bloody Hell Are You Awesome Australia?’.
“Secondly, all stakeholders in the tourism industry need to defend aviation against unfair attacks over carbon emissions. Aviation contributes only 2 per cent of carbon emissions worldwide, automotives 18 per cent by comparison.
“Thirdly, we need to spruce up some of the names around the coastline and elsewhere, e.g. the tropical far north coast of New South Wales should be renamed the Byron Bold Coast, with `Bold’ standing for `balance over licentious development’.
“Industrial Drive Newcastle should be immediately renamed Mark Twain Drive, in commemoration of Twain’s visit to Newcastle in 1895’.
“Fourthly, some key museums are overdue for further revamp. For example, as we rapidly approach the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Hamel, where Australian and US troops were brilliantly led by General John Monash of Jerilderie, surely Monash deserves more than one portrait and one caption in the western front gallery of the Australian War Memorial, the Williamstown Victorian Railway Museum Centre needs to be revamped and perhaps renamed `Victoria and Thomas’, the Thomas after the previous speaker and Premier Thomas Bent.
“Fifthly, the State and Federal Governments should agree on extending the GST exemption that applies to international inbound tourists for domestic air travel to include domestic rail travel, especially the Indian Pacific (Perth-Sydney) and other long distance train routes e.g. Melbourne- Sydney, Sydney-Brisbane and Brisbane-Cairns,” Mr Fischer said.
Mr Fischer said that he has mixed emotions in stepping down after Chairing Tourism Australia for its first three years, adding that he will always do what he can to promote tourism within Australia.
“The biggest challenge ahead, in specific terms, is the Japanese inbound market and in broad terms, it is the emerging greenhouse guilt factor against long haul flights,” Mr Fischer said. “I am very confident Australia will meet those challenges.
“I thank Tourism Minister Fran Bailey, Tourism Australia management and staff along with the industry stakeholders for their support over the years.”
Mr Fischer said his worst nightmare going forward was the prospect of dreaming about attending yet another tourism award dinner with 555 nominations and 55 categories, fortunately in reality steps are being taken to cut back on the phenomena of diluted tourism awards!
Mr Fischer added that it has been a particularly welcome breakthrough with the recent Federal Budget providing great continuity of funding for Tourism Australia over the next four years, along with $10m dollars for extra tourism assistance in drought areas and $15m dollars for a new viewing platform and improved arrangements at Ayers Rock.
“The tourism industry had been very pleasantly surprised at the breakthrough with budget funding, delivered by Minister Fran Bailey and it will greatly help Tourism Australia’s ongoing programs,” Mr Fischer said.