Funding cuts to Tasmania’s tourism and events industry has sparked concerns that it may cause a decline in visitor numbers.
The latest Tasmanian budget revealed a $1.4 million cut to tourism and events in 2012-13, followed by a further $500,000 cut in 2013-14. Spending will increase by $1.6 million in 2014-15 before increasing a further $400,000 in 2015-16.
While the industry has welcomed the funding boost in 2014, Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee fears that the short term cuts in 2012-13 will come at a cost.
“Reducing marketing will result in fewer visitors to Tasmania, which will reduce economic activity and cost jobs,” he said.
It was also likely to cause a decline in visitor numbers, Lee added. “Considering that visitor numbers have declined over recent years, it seems unlikely that providing less funding will halt that decline,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tourism Tasmania director of operations and planning, Adam Sproule, said the funding cuts are hardly concerning, and will be offset by strategic cost cuts.
“Savings strategies to meet the savings targets required for the 2012?13 budget will mostly be achieved as part of the recent realignment of role and subsequent restructure of the Authority. This reduction has primarily been achieved through salary savings and a reduction in non-marketing based activity,” he said.
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