Tourism issues the focus of inquiry
The business of tourism was the talk of the town last week as the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia visited Broome as part of an inquiry.
The committee heard evidence from tourism organisations, indigenous leaders and key business bodies in town from August 21 to 22 as part of its inquiry into opportunities and methods for stimulating the tourism industry in northern Australia.
In its opening address, the Shire of Broome told the committee that tourism is a strong contributor to economic output and employment, but also faced a number of challenges, including visitor perception and a lack of key infrastructure.
It said it wanted to embrace the challenges as opportunities for growth, but said more support would be needed to do so. In its recommendation to the committee, the Shire said a “whole government approach” was needed to implement solutions to antisocial behaviour in the community and surrounding regions.
Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the committee that more Government support was needed for industry bodies to develop tourism experiences and promote them nationally and internationally. It argued for the need to alleviate the complexities associated with land tenure that did not support landholders without freehold title who aimed to develop tourism products on their leases.
Kimberley Ports told the committee that some cruise ship passengers had visits to Broome below their expectations because of arrival times dictated by tides.
It said funding for works to the main shipping channel would allow vessels to enter the port at all times, allowing passengers to make the most of the town’s tourism offerings.
The 10-person committee is made up of Federal Parliament ministers, including Member for Durack Melissa Price.
Other hearings for the inquiry have taken place across the country since February, with the last held in Perth last Wednesday.
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