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EXCLUSIVE: States and territories preparing new tourism career campaigns

The Albanese Government has awarded $7.5 million to a variety of projects designed to boost the tourism workforce. Here’s how it will be spent.

Queensland will relaunch its 'Work in Paradise' relocation campaign.

Queensland will breathe new life into a 2021 tourism campaign designed to encourage workers from around Australia to move to the Sunshine State and take a job in the tourism industry.

The reinvigorated campaign will be boosted by a $1.4 million grant from the Federal Government as part of the latest round of funding coming from the ‘Choose Tourism’ workforce program.

The ‘Work in Paradise’ pitch was initially launched in May 2021 aimed at addressing critical workforce shortages felt across the tourism industry, primarily in the state’s far north following a mass exodus of expat labour due to the pandemic.

Queensland will put its tropical north front and centre of its campaign.

At the time, the campaign tempted workers with a $1,500 cash payment along with a $250 travel allowance and housing assistance to help people uproot their lives and relocate to North Queensland to take jobs in the tourism sector.

The campaign was discontinued once a new outbreak of the virus spread around New South Wales and Victoria, prompting Queensland to close its border for several months.

Queensland is not the only state ready to promote its tourism industry as an ideal career choice, with each state and territory preparing to embark on new campaigns and initiatives to boost their workforces.

Identical grants of $1.4 million have also been provided to NSW, which will prepare a new omni-channel campaign focusing on the visitor economy workforce, while in Victoria, this money will support an upcoming Visitor Economy Careers Exchange Expo promoting the sector to school leavers, young people and First Nations Australians.

Jobs in hospitality will be among those to be filled as a priority.

Media campaigns promoting the sector will also be launched soon in South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia using $800,000 grants, while a smaller Workforce Campaign will be rolled out in the Northern Territory with its $450,000 allocation.

In the ACT, its $450,000 grant will be spent on a range of programs including smaller employability events across tertiary institutions, a small business capability webinar and to support accredited training programs for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

South Australian Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, welcomed the initiative as a way to address a major problem facing the recovery of the tourism industry.

“While the post-pandemic recovery of South Australia’s visitor economy is well underway, having reached a record $9.4 billion in visitor expenditure in our state in latest 12-month data – we know workforce issues remain a key challenge for our industry,” Minister Bettison said.

Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell.

“Through the South Australian Tourism Commission, the South Australian Government is pleased to support the efforts to attract workers and to strengthen diversity in the industry, with a focus on attracting more young people, older workers, people living with disabilities and First Nations people. This will be key to our industry’s ongoing recovery and to help it reach its full potential.”

The latest round of $7.5 million through the ‘Choose Tourism’ program is part of a wider $48 million commitment by the Albanese Government to rebuild Australia’s travel and tourism industries, upskill workforces, support new projects and upgrade tourism infrastructure.

Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, said he and Australia’s state tourism ministers were united in their efforts to restore Australia’s visitor spend to $166 billion annually by 2024 to $230 billion by 2030.

“The Albanese Government is committed to growing our tourism industry, and to achieve that we need to ensure they have the workforce they need,” Minister Farrell said.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 25 July 2023

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