Tourism calls for expansion of export grant to support rebuild
Published on : Monday, May 2, 2022
Export tourism businesses across Australia are seeking the expansion of a key government grant program as the industry begins to rebuild their international markets, calling on both parties to include the measure in their election tourism policies.
The Export Marketing Development Grant (EMDG) scheme has been highly effective in supporting Australian export tourism businesses in building their international markets with many businesses catapulting their success off back of these grants.
“EMDG has been instrumental in the success of many hundreds of tourism products as they move into the export market, supporting both small and large businesses to find new growth opportunities in international markets,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.
“Given the program has limited eligibility, and many tourism businesses have already exhausted their allocation, we believe these businesses which have already shown their international capacity need special consideration to support them in rebuilding their markets.
“A short-term refocus of the EMDG program would provide great benefit to our industry and really help Australia to re-engage markets following the devastation caused by the covid border closures.
“As we move to rebuild our industry, tourism businesses will need to invest heavily into international marketing and right now they are on the back foot, but with EMDG support we can get back to market faster, working to re-instate our $45bn export tourism market.”
ATEC is calling on both parties to recognise the unique challenges faced by export tourism businesses by adjusting EMDG qualifications to:
- Temporarily relax the current EMDG rules to support tourism recovery for a minimum of two years
- Support merit-based applications enabling businesses which have previously exhausted their allocation to re-apply in order to access market restart support.
- Exempt tourism businesses from any caps rules/eligibility and open to businesses of all sizes
- Provide additional funds ring-fenced for tourism businesses
Mr Shelley said the EMDG program has proven to be extremely successful in elevating the marketing of Australian products in the international marketplace and right now is an important time to be providing this kind of support to export tourism businesses.
“EMDG is designed to encourage new exporters into the market and ATEC believes that at this point, all tourism businesses are effectively a new exporter.
“Research has shown that EMDG grants produce a multiplier effect of up to $27 for each dollar spent and the tourism industry is one of the most robust opportunities for Australian exports.
“With the reopening of our international borders and an industry poised to get back to full operations, we urge both parties to invest in tourism’s future. It’s time for tourism.”