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The Unrecognized Threat To Tourism Can Tourism Survive ‘Sustainability’?

Reforms in the Tourism Industry of Australia

Australia is among the richest nations in the region of Asia-Pacific.  It is ranked among the top five richest countries in the region of Asia-Pacific in terms of economic growth with a gross domestic product of more than 1.3 trillion (Prideaux &Witt, 2010, p.7). Australia is also among the top five nations with most free economies according to the 2018 index with more than 79 score of economic freedom. Almost all the industries in Australia are open to foreign investments competition and they have access to readily available highly skilled labor force. This has greatly contributed towards improving and maintaining economic growth in Australia and as a result it has remained a centre of attractions for many investors from all over the world.

Tourism industry has been chosen. In general, tourism refers to the activities of the visitors. It involves the travel of people outside their local environment to other places for a period which is actually less than one year but more than 24 hours (Leiper, 2012, p.390). Tourism can be internal (domestic) or international. People travel to places for different purposes. The main purpose of traveling in tourism is leisure among others which may include business and other activities under personal level. Tourism in Australia is a very crucial industry and contributes almost more than 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product. Australian tourism industry is very broad and consists of various enterprises supporting the tourists’ activities. These enterprises offer various activities to the tourists which include accommodation, transport, casino businesses and even the education sector as some tourists may be interested in learning foreign languages. For this reason tourism, the Australian industry sector remains very important and the government is doing its best to improve the various tourism activities and other sectors of the economy which are directly or indirectly involved in tourism to improve its economic growth.

The Australian tourism industry is a very crucial component of the economy as it contributes much towards improving the economic growth of Australia. The Australian government has been undertaking various reforms in the industry to improve its efficiency and consequently its share towards improving the Australian economy (Savage & O’Connor, 2015, p.609). The government reforms have been successful as the contribution of the industry towards the gross domestic product has been improving for the past ten years though at a slow rate. The industry has a bright future and much is expected from it in future. The following are the reforms which have been introduced in the Australian tourism industry for the past ten years:

Transport Reforms

There has been an increasing demand for tourists in the tourism industry of Australia. Tourists have been increasing each preceding year. The increased number of tourists needs to be supported with good transport system so as to comfortably travel within Australia and enjoy. The government together with the operators in the tourism industry of Australia has been working hand in hand to improve the transport system and some infrastructures to accommodate the increasing tourists demand (Berry & Ladkin, 2010, p.433). This reform has been a success as traffic jam in Australia has been reducing with time. The success of this reform has been ensured in the following ways:

  1. The government has made agreements with the air transport industry to offer affordable air services to tourists as the demand increases. These services include affordable air tickets and cheap comfortable services to the tourists. The government has also gone a set further to subsidize some air operations to enable them to offer affordable services. This has attracted more tourists since travelling within Australia has been made cheap and comfortable.
  2. The government has established new travel routes. Many roads through different places have been constructed. The government has also enabled the establishment of new airports and airlines such as the Virgin Australia airline. This has contributed much towards eliminating traffic jams as more routes are available and hence has made traveling within Australia easy.
  3. The government has encouraged the operators within the tourism industry of Australia to invest much on aviation opportunities. Many operators have been encouraged to adopt the air transport means for their tourists. This reform has been a success as many operators within Australia have adopted it. This has contributed much towards eliminating traffic jams on roads as many tourists prefer using the cheap air transport means.
  4. The government of Australia has come up with the Tourist Refund Scheme which enables many tourists both the domestic and international ones to claim some refund from the tax paid on the items purchased in the event of the tourism activities.
  5. Labor reforms

The Australian industry has been facing the shortage of labor for the past ten years (Keating, 2009, p.403). More than 30000 employee vacancies are available. During the year 2015, the tourism industry required more than 54000 employees out of which about 27000 vacancies required unskilled labor force. This shortage of labor has led to poor services being offered to tourists as only a few employees are available to serve and satisfy them fully. The government has been working hand in hand with the tourism industry operators to enable them to recruit new employees and maintain the existing ones to eliminate this shortage gap. The success of this reform has been ensured in the following ways:

  1. The government has encouraged the entire nation to at least acquire 12 years of education. This will enable people to be equipped with basic skills in their fields and hence improve efficiency in production in various companies.
  2. The government together with the operators in the tourism industry has implemented the eight pilot hot spots with the help of the Labor and Skills Working Group. This has enabled high skilled labor force for the air transport sector as the tourism operators’ shift to it.
  3. The government has encouraged proper training of students by their relevant industries to ensure that they always deliver the best. The tourism industry has been encouraged to properly train their attaches on how to deliver the best services to tourists.

Digitalism is important in any industry as it enables proper marketing and easy production and distribution of products. Actually many Australians are online with statistics estimating more than 81 percent to be online. Generally more than 55 percent of the whole world is online and by the year 2020 more than 67 percent is expected to be online (Prideaux, 2009, p.279). With these estimates, it goes without say that strong digitalism in any sector of the economy is very essential for it to remain competitive. The tourism industry of Australia has been poor in terms of adopting digitalism. Currently estimates show that actually a third of the Australian tourism industry operators have adopted digitalism in terms of payments services and tourist’s online booking. The government has encouraged the tourism operators to adapt online services to attract more tourists and ease their services. The government has reformed the visa application process. Australia has facing problems of their complex visa application process as compared to their competitors. The government has introduced online visa application process to eliminate these problems mainly for the China tourists as many tourists visiting Australia come from China. The government has also established the National Broadband Network which consists of various digital programs which support businesses to carry out their activities digitally and minimize operational costs. The Australian government has also highly supported research activities which are aimed at inventing new digital ways of improving the efficiency in the tourism industry. Much of the research activities are currently being done and more digital ways of doing operations in the tourism industry are anticipated in future.

Digitalism Reforms

Investment in the tourism industry of Australia has been poor for the last ten years. In fact, during the year 2009, the tourism industry investment was almost doubled by investment in the other sectors of the economy such as mining and agriculture. This is due to barriers to investment in the industry arising from its disproportionate regulation policies (Steane, 2011, p.453). For the past ten years the investment in the tourism industry has been doing well, evidence that the government reforms concerning investment are succeeding. The government has encouraged investment in the tourism industry sector by undertaking the following:

  1. The government has supported various investors in the tourism industry according to their needs geographically (Jenkins, 2010, p.175). Investors in the tourism industry face different needs according to the geographical locations. Some areas face different hardships and hence need more support than others. The government has supported them proportionately according to their needs. This has encouraged more investors to join the industry more so in remote areas since they are assured of government support.
  2. The government has implemented the use Destination Management Tool in the tourism industry. This has enabled the investors in the industry to maximally utilize their resources for maximum productivity. It has also enabled the government to track the utilization of its support resources in the industry to minimize cases of corruption and embezzlement of its funds (Leiper, Neil, 2014, p.455).
  3. The Australian government has minimized the disproportionate regulatory policies in the tourism industry (McKercher, 2013, p.131). The compliance costs required for the new investors wishing to join the tourism industry have been minimized. This has seen more investors enter the tourism industry more so the accommodation sector as their starting capital has been favorably reduced.
  4. The government together with the operators in the tourism industry has identified various available investment opportunities. They have encouraged new investors to utilize these opportunities by supporting them. Many investors have joined the industry and have contributed towards the Australian economic growth.

Tourism is very important in Australian and it contributes much towards its economic growth. On average, the tourism industry of Australia has been contributing more than 3 percent towards the gross domestic product. The contribution of various sectors towards economic growth is measured by their overall productivity (Ross, G.F., 2012, p.13). The tourism industry is unique as its overall contribution towards economic growth is measured by consumption. The overall consumption in the tourism industry of Australia is measured by the consumption o the domestic and international tourists. Tourism industry of Australia is broad and consists of various enterprises which directly or indirectly render their service to tourists. These include the accommodation, leisure and transport services among others. They contribute much towards improving the Australian economy which is measured in terms of the gross domestic product.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian tourism industry has been contributing more than 3 percent of the total gross domestic product of Australia for the last nine years. The Australian tourism industry contributed more than $29 million during the year 2009. This was about 2.6 percent of the Australian gross domestic product (Dredge & Jenkins, 2013, p.415). The industry has been improving with time and during the year 2014 the contribution of the industry to the gross domestic product was about 3.1 percent out of which a third was as a result of international tourism. The demand for the international tourism is on the rise due to various reforms by the government in the industry which has improved its efficiency in its terms of quality services and affordable costs of traveling among others.

The tourism industry of Australia has contributed much towards the overall exports in the country. The demand for international trade has highly increased and it is anticipated to increase more in future due to the various reforms introduced in the industry which have highly contributed towards improving its efficiency. The tourism industry contributes more than 61 percent of the total Australian exports due to the international trade which has been increasing with time. This has enabled Australia to have terms of trade which are more favorable than those of the neighboring countries such as China. A country’s terms of trade are favorable if its overall export activities exceed its import activities. Australia has been exporting more than it imports. A large portion of the exports is contributed by the tourism sector and it is expected to do much better in future.

Investment Reforms

The tourism industry has contributed towards minimizing unemployment rate in Australia. The industry had employed more than half a million workers as the 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics report. More vacancies are available and by the year 2015, the industry required more than 52000 employees. The industry currently accounts for more than 7 percent total Australian employees. In a nutshell, the Australian tourism industry has positively impacted the economic growth and with the various reforms introduced in the industry much is expected in future.

Conclusion

Australia is among the wealthiest nations in the Asia-Pacific region having been ranked among the top five positions. It is also ranked among the top five nations with the freest economies according to the 2018 index. Australia has opened foreign competition to almost all its industries and has readily available highly skilled labor. This has enabled Australia to achieve and maintain positive economic growth remaining an attraction for many investors.

The tourism industry of Australia is very important as it contributes much towards its economic growth (Tovar & Lockwood, 2012, p.279). Australia has been contributing more than 3 percent of the total gross domestic product. A number of reforms have been put in place to improve the efficiency in the industry. They include labor, digitalism, investment and transport reforms.

The reforms introduced have seen the contribution of the industry towards the overall economic growth improve with time for the past ten years. The industry has enabled Australia to achieve favorable terms of trade by increasing its exports as the demand for international trade continues to rise. The industry has also employed many workers and still vacancies are available. It accounts for more than 7 percent of the total Australian employment.

References

Berry, S. and Ladkin, A., 2010. Sustainable tourism: A regional perspective. Tourism Management, 18(7), pp.433-440.

Dredge, D. and Jenkins, J., 2013. Federal–state relations and tourism public policy, New South Wales, Australia. Current Issues in Tourism, 6(5), pp.415-443.

Jenkins, J., 2010. The dynamics of regional tourism organisations in New South Wales, Australia: History, structures and operations. Current Issues in Tourism, 3(3), pp.175- 203.

Keating, B., 2009. Managing ethics in the tourism supply chain: The case of Chinese travel to Australia. International Journal of Tourism Research, 11(4), pp.403-408.

Leiper, N., 2012. The framework of tourism: Towards a definition of tourism, tourist, and the tourist industry. Annals of tourism research, 6(4), pp.390-407.

Leiper, Neil. Tourism management. Vol. 455. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia, 2014.

McKercher, B., 2013. The unrecognized threat to tourism: can tourism survive ‘sustainability’?. Tourism management, 14(2), pp.131-136.

Prideaux, B., 2009. Tourism perspectives of the Asian financial crisis: Lessons for the future. Current issues in Tourism, 2(4), pp.279-293.

Prideaux, B. and Witt, S.F., 2010. The impact of the Asian financial crisis on Australian tourism. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 5(1), pp.1-7.

Ross, G.F., 2012. Resident perceptions of the impact of tourism on an Australian city. Journal of travel research, 30(3), pp.13-17.

Savage, G.C. and O’Connor, K., 2015. National agendas in global times: Curriculum reforms in Australia and the USA since the 1980s. Journal of Education Policy, 30(5), pp.609-630.

Steane, P., 2011. Public Management Reforms in Australia and New Zealand: A pot-pourri overview of the past decade. Public Management Review, 10(4), pp.453-465.

Tovar, C. and Lockwood, M., 2012. Social impacts of tourism: An Australian regional case study. International journal of tourism research, 10(4), pp.365-378.

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