The Liberals Brendan Smyth is laying the blame for the decline of tourism to the ACT at the feet of Tourism Minister Andrew Barr.
Tourism everywhere in this country is in trouble due to the sky high Australian dollar.
Frankly as a nation I’d rather our children earn a crust building railways to carry iron ore trains than satiating the desires of asian businessmen. If forced to choose between those futures it’s bad news for tourism if you ask me.
But Brendan likes tourism so he wants more taxpayer money spent enhancing the profits of hotel owners:
“ACT tourist numbers have dropped across the board, in all three categories of day visitors, overnight visitors and international visitors.
“The ACT Labor Government slashed ACT tourism funding in the 2006 Budget and it is clear that the industry hasn’t recovered.
“Despite Andrew Barr’s recent suggestion that tourism numbers are improving, we still aren’t at the 2003 levels. It’s time for this government to stop selectively quoting figures to gloss over the real issues.
“Andrew Barr is interested in tourism photo opportunities but not in developing long-term strategies which are vital to the ACT’s future tourism viability.
“I call on Andrew Barr to commit to the ACT’s industry through programs which aim to lift these dire tourism numbers,” Mr Smyth concluded.