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important role in the economic development of regional Australia, with 46 cents in every tourist dollar spent in regional Australia. Diversity in the industry The tourism industry consists of almost 280,000 enterprises that support the visitor economy from accommodation and cafes, casinos, tour companies, travel agents, transport companies, and parts of the retail and education sector. The industry is supported by a supply chain that generates significant economic multipliers. Every dollar spent on tourism generates an additional 91 cents in other parts of the economy – higher than multipliers in mining, agriculture and financial services. Tourism is more than holiday travel, incorporating a broader “visitor economy” that includes domestic and international travel for business, study and work, and for visiting family and friends. Australia’s competitive advantage Australia has a wealth of assets that differentiate it from other destinations around the world, including unique landscapes and nature-based tourism offerings; Indigenous culture and heritage; sophisticated cities and regions; and friendly, tolerant, culturally diverse population. However, a successful and growing tourism sector requires more. Improved quality, product choice, skills and infrastructure will maximise and sustain economic value from Australia’s natural advantages as a tourism destination. The current environment – challenges and opportunities Challenges: Increasing competition and the rise of the Australian dollar are two of the many significant challenges currently facing the Australian tourism industry. Australia’s international market share has reduced in recent years and domestic tourism expenditure has fallen since 2000. Together with governments, the industry needs to work towards the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential. Priorities include investment in new product, boosting productivity, increasing uptake of digital technology, and addressing labour and skills shortages, all of whichwill ultimately impact on improved product and service quality. Opportunities: Australia’s tourism offering of natural, cultural and man-made attractions remain highly regarded and sought after by visitors. Achieving the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential would increase tourism’s contribution to GDP by as much as 50% to an estimated $51billion. Economic powerhouses in Asia, particularly China and India, are driving new wealth andconsumption that can translate into huge demand for visitor experiences. The digital revolution will be fast-tracked in Australia with the roll out of the National Broadband Network, allowing tourism operators to better engage with customers and create new business opportunities. Government response – working with industry Tourism Ministers have led and endorsed the work program under the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, and committed to working towards achieving the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential. The work program continues to evolve over time as new issues of national Bridge Business College Version 1.1 8 April 2019Page 23of 29