Tourism boost for bus


New National Tourism Council to represent interest of bus and coach operators at top level

Tourism boost for bus
Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) executive director Michael Apps is confident the new National Tourism Council will encourage the Federal Government to increase its investment in tourism and, as a founding member, BIC will raise the profile of bus and coach operators as vital tourism service providers

The Australian bus industry has positioned itself as a key voice within the newly created National Tourism Council, launched earlier this month.

Coach, charter and even route bus operators play a vital yet underappreciated role in the success of Australian tourism, but are not always prioritised or recognised by governments as core tourism service providers – especially in the early policy-consideration and formation stage.

The National Tourism Council aims to raise the profile of tourism and lobby the Federal Government to spend more on tourism and marketing, on behalf of all who contribute to and rely on the tourism sector.

Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) executive director Michael Apps is confident the new council will do a stellar job of representing the diverse range of service providers involved in tourism in Australia as a single unified voice and encourage the Federal Government to increase its investment.

"BIC is happy to be a founding member of the National Tourism Council," he says.

"The tourism industry has such diverse group including restaurants, hotels, casinos, theme parks, hire car companies and bus and coach operators.

"So traditionally, people in the industry have found it difficult to represent tourism as a combined industry."

There have been many attempts over the years to unify the Australian tourism industry in order to maximise its lobbying power and influence over the level and nature of Federal Government’s contribution to tourism-related initiatives.

"The most recent effort to do this was the National Tourism Alliance of which BIC was member for a short time," Apps says.

"We felt it wasn’t representing bus and coach interests as well as it could or should have.

"With National Tourism Council, we now have a great opportunity to promote the bus and coach industry role in tourism with the Federal Government and the BIC will be playing an active role."

The Council is part of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whose membership network includes eight state and territory chambers of commerce and more than 50 industry associations.

Its creation has been at least 12 months in the making and heralds the start of a new era for the industry.

The Council will be mostly focused on getting a larger investment from the Federal Government into tourism, discussing issues that affect it internationally and domestically and trying to maximise Australia’s tourism opportunities.

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