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Anger over Australia’s withdrawl from UNWTO

Anger over Australia’s withdrawl from UNWTO
December 12, 2014

Citing high membership costs, the Australian Government is withdrawing from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the UN agency responsible for promoting $7 trillion global tourism.

The decision to leave the UNWTO was taken by Federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb together with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. It was prompted by questions about the value of benefits of membership to Australia in recent years.

A statement from Minister Robb’s office explaining the move read "the Government determined that the UNWTO work program does not align with our national tourism program - Tourism 2020 - and that the benefits from membership do not outweigh the membership costs - $1.7 million over the forward estimates.

“The Government is of the view the Australian tourism industry is better served by our engagement with other multilateral forums such as the OECD Tourism Committee and the APEC Tourism Working Group.”Australian Tourism Export Council Chairman John King stated "we made a written submission to the government strongly objecting to pulling out.”

The move has provoked outrage from the Australian tourism industry, with Australian Tourism Export Council Chairman John King stating "we made a written submission to the government strongly objecting to pulling out."

Federal Shadow Spokesman for Tourism, Anthony Albanese, said UNWTO membership gave Australians a seat at the table of key international tourism meetings, providing access to crucial world tourism data.

The Deputy Labor Leader stated "membership of UNWTO gives the Australian tourism industry, which employs nearly one million Australians, a seat at the table of key international tourism meetings and provides access to crucial world tourism data. 

"After abandoning the domestic tourism sector by cutting grants and marketing, the Abbott Government is now further withdrawing from the world stage." 

ATEC's King added that the OECD Tourism Committee and the APEC Tourism Working Group were merely committees of bureaucrats, stating “there is no involvement by the tourism industry and they have not demonstrated any of the benchmarking for research capabilities that the UNWTO has.”

With 156 member countries, the UNWTO promotes a responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism industry.

30th November 2014 - UN REPORT SHOWS GROWING VALUE OF GLOBAL ADVENTURE TOURISM

25th February 2014 - CULTURAL TOURISM TAKES CENTRAL STAGE AT QATAR’S ‘TOURISM IN TOMORROW’S WORLD’ CONFERENCE

11th February 2014 - UNWTO SECRETARY GENERAL TALEB RIFAI ADDRESSES 2014 CAUTHE CONFERENCE 

25th August 2013 - NEW ZEALAND MĀORI TOURISM TO HOST PACIFIC ASIA INDIGENOUS TOURISM CONFERENCE 2014

4th October 2012 - HISTORIC INDIGENOUS TOURISM INITIATIVE GETS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION 

29th July 2010 - COALITION PLEDGES TO BACK BUSINESS EVENTS TOURISM 


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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