News from Australian Tourism Exchange 2016 in Gold Coast

  • Controversial backpacker tax postponed by six months
  • Australian Tourism Exchange showcased new tourism product
  • John O’Sullivan: Pipeline of new hotels under construction will help alleviate room shortage 
  • Tourism Minister unmoved on question of Sydney Airport’s 11pm-6am curfew


Eoghan Corry editor of Travel Extra and John O'Sullivan CEO of Tourism Australia at Australian Tourism Exchange in Surfer's Paradise, Queensland, May 14 2016

The Australian government is to delay its plan to introduce a so-called backpacker tax. Tourists on working holiday visas were set to be excluded from the country’s tax-free threshold from July 1. Under the plan they would have been taxed at 32.5c for every dollar they earned in Australia. Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer said on Tuesday that the tax would be deferred for six months. Other issues raised at Australian Tourism Exchange in Gold Coast include the 11pm to 6am curfew that closes Sydney airport every night (watch here Minister Steve Ciobo’s response to Travel Extra’s question at the press conference) and the impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef (watch here the comments of Queensland Tourism CEO Leanne Coddington about increased tourism could help preserve the Reef). Tourism Australia intends rolling out the Aussie specialist programme to the Irish travel trade in September. Watch here and here John O’Sullivan’s comments about the continued importance of the travel trade to Tourism Australia. Watch here John O’Sullivan’s full presentation at the event. Watch here Minister Steve Ciobo’s speech at ATE. Watch here the speech by Queensland Tourism CEO Leanne Coddington. Visits to Australia from Ireland declined 6pc in 2015 to 58,100 from 61,800 and the decline continued in Jan-March 2016, down 3.7pc to 18,400 from 19,100. Update on working visas is down 5pc overall and more than 8pc from Ireland. Picture shows Eoghan Corry with John O’Sullivan, CEO of Tourism Australia.

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Tourism Product at Australia Tourism Exchange

brett photographingPhotograph shows Brett Ince of Great Ocean Touring Route photographing Kylie Schumann of Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, at Australian Tourism Exchange in Surfer’s Paradise. Catch up with who we met at Australian Tourism Exchange:

Caitlin Williams of CAPTA group (watch here and see website), Leanne Dyer of Central Coast Tourism (watch here and see website), Brett Ince of Great Southern Touring Route (watch here and see website), Tracy Willis of Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (watch here and see website), Carolyn Melbourne of Jenolan Caves (watch here and see website), Sab Lord of Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland safaris (watch here and see website), Naomi Hammond of shelleyMantra group (watch here and see website), Kirsty Grace of Melbourne Sports Tours (watch here and see website), Kendall Munns of Moonlit Sanctuary (watch here and see website), Alysha Brandenburg of Parks Victoria (watch here and see website), Kylie Schumann of the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunked (one of the most extensive fine wine collections in the Southern hemisphere (watch here and see website), Steve Lane of Sea Dragon Lodge on Kangaroo island (watch here and see website), Katie Hart of Sunreef Wooloolaba (watch here and see website), Liz Tuckett of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (watch here and see website), Stephen Howard of QT Hotels (watch here and see website), Emilya Colliver of Sydney Culture Scouts (watch here and see website) and Wade Bowen of Thala Beach Nature Reserve (watch here and see website). Picture shows Shelley Winkel and Vanessa Chew of Tourism Queensland who hosted 83 media at the event.

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Travel suppliers were invited to join some of the world’s leading travel media at Australian Tourism Exchange for a discussion on storytelling in the digital age. Listen here.

Delegates were given a preview of Virgin Australia’s new premium economy product Listen here..

Picture Gallery form Australia Tourism Exchange

See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

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