Australian Tourism Industry Receives History Breaking $1 Million Dollar Grant Under New Program Opened by Gillard Government
Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) March 11, 2011
In an historic boost for Australia’s tourism industry, the Gillard Government has today opened a new program to give tourism operators the opportunity to revolutionise their products with project funding of up to $1 million to be matched dollar for dollar with private sector investment.
The Strategic Tourism Investment Grants delivers on Labor’s election commitment to provide $40 million over four years under the TQUAL Grants program. They will support three key national priorities – Indigenous tourism, economic development and tourism employment.
Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said these grants are a new feature of the program and will build on the previous success of the Tourism Quality Projects, which provide funding of up to $100,000.
“Australia needs innovative and competitive tourism experiences,” Minister Ferguson said.
“This is the first time in Australia’s history that tourism operators will be able to apply for large-scale funding to take successful projects to an entirely new level.
“We are serious about growing our tourism industry and these grants deliver on that commitment.
“Tourism employs directly and indirectly close to one million Australians and is a major part of our economy. But tourism is not just about marketing, it is also about offering the best and most competitive products and experiences – and you need substantial investment to make that happen.
“By investing in quality products and services through TQUAL Grants, we enhance the supply side of the industry and give our tourism operators the best chance possible to carve out a greater share of what is a challenging global market.
“Australia has really held its own in recent times and we have seen some positive growth indicators over the last twelve months, but it is time to take that to the next level.”
“The first step in the Strategic Tourism Investment Grants program is a call for project suggestions from the tourism industry, all levels of government, community groups and individuals,” said the Minister Assisting on Tourism, Senator Nick Sherry.
“The Australian government will then assess and select successful projects, before putting out a further call for grant applications to deliver the successful projects.This competitive process will ensure the best projects receive funding and value for money in return for the substantial Government support,” Senator Sherry said.
The program will be open continuously throughout the funding period – meaning applicants aren’t constrained by arbitrary timeframes or funding rounds.
The Department for Resources, Energy and Tourism has been working on a pilot project – the Indigenous Tourism Business Skills Project at Ayers Rock Resort – and will be seeking grant applications for its delivery in coming months.”Through this project, the Australian Government aims to build a skilled tourism and hospitality workforce, assist the growth of an authentic Indigenous tourism experience and stimulate Indigenous tourism enterprise and product development,” Senator Sherry said.
“TQUAL Grants supports the National Tourism Accreditation Framework and other measures within the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy.
“All these measures are designed to heighten quality throughout our largest services export industry,” Senator Sherry said.
More information on TQUAL Grants including Tourism Quality Projects and Strategic Tourism Investment Grants is available at www.ret.gov.au/tqual or by calling 13 28 46.
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