Tourism Jobs At Risk In Marginal Seats

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9th September 2009, 10:53am - Views: 1144

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Wednesday September 9, 2009


Reversing job losses in the tourism industry should be a key focus of government, with

many marginal seats highly dependent on tourism employment, according to analysis

by the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) as

its two day annual conference of tourism

business leaders continues in Canberra today.

TTF’s Leadership09 Tourism & Transport Infrastructure Summit gives the industry the

chance to canvass issues with Cabinet Ministers, senior Opposition parliamentarians

and top departmental officials.

Current figures show that while Australia’s economy has fared better than most around

the world, tourism dependent areas in both regional and metropolitan areas have been

hit hard by the global economic slowdown, with many sustaining significant job losses.


TTF Managing Director Christopher Brown said tourism employment is a key issue in

numerous marginal seats.

“Four seats where direct tourism jobs account for more than 10 per cent of total

employment require a swing of less than four per cent to change hands at the next

election,” Mr Brown said, “and three of those are held by the ALP.” 

“The concentration of direct tourism employment in the Queensland electorates of

Dawson and Leichhardt is more than triple the national average and both changed

hands in 2007 thanks to a massive swing – something which could easily be reversed at

the next election.

“Tourism accounts for 14.7 per cent of direct employment in Leichhardt, and 16.1 per

cent in Dawson, while the Far North Queensland region has the nation’s highest

unemployment rate at 9.9 per cent.

“The seat of Hinkler, also in Queensland, has 10.9 per cent of jobs directly attributable

to tourism, while 10.1 per cent of employment in the NT electorate of Solomon, where

underemployment is a big issue.


Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) is a national, Member-funded CEO forum, advocating 

the public policy interests of the 200 most prestigious corporations and institutions in 

the Australian tourism, transport, aviation & investment sectors.

“The number of unemployed people in Queensland has jumped by almost 51,000 since

August 2008 –

and more half of those

job losses have been in the highly tourism-

dependent areas of the Far North, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

“While these are not all tourism jobs, it clearly demonstrates the wider impact of the

downturn in tourism activity.

“Inner metropolitan areas of Sydney and Melbourne are among the most tourism

intensive areas of the country, and these areas too are seeing unemployment rise.

“But tourism job losses are not restricted to inner city and regional areas, with young

people from the suburbs of all our major centres losing jobs in hotels and hospitality as

a result of the global downturn.

“These people are the unseen face of declining tourism demand.”

Mr Brown said tourism employment intensity is equal to or higher than the national

average in 50 seats nationwide.

“Of those 50 electorates, 17 could change hands with a swing of less than 4 per cent,

making the tourism vote a real political force.

“Among the 17 are metropolitan seats like Swan in Perth and Bennelong in Sydney, as

well as numerous seats in regional areas of Tasmania, New South Wales and


“Also, the seat with the highest intensity of tourism employment is Sydney, with 16.4 per

cent of all direct jobs, while Melbourne is fifth, with 13.8 per cent – both held by the ALP.

“All this shows that the state of the tourism industry can play a big role in the result of

the next federal election, which is little more than 12 months away.”


Media contact: Rowan Barker - (02) 9240 2005 or 0401 136 230

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