Australia’s peak tourism body Tourism Australia is set to cull 20 marketers following cuts in the recent federal budget.
The body is, of course, a public, federally-funded one and employs about 200 people whose primary job it is to lure foreign travellers to Australia.
News Corp’s The Australian is today reporting the “roles in the firing line are in the agency’s Sydney-based marketing team and affect people of varying seniority”.
It’s unclear if creative, currently handled primarily by M&C Saatchi, will be affected by the cuts.
In last month’s budget, the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, announced Tourism Australia’s funding would be cut from $208 million to $184 million.
It was argued that the body didn’t need as big a budget now that tourists were starting to return post COVID.
Although above pre-COVID levels, the sum was well down on the last two years with budget papers showing Tourism Australia received $208 million in 2022-23, and $175 million the year previous.
Overseas tourism is worth a reported $120 billion a year to the economy.
Tourism Australia’s latest marketing campaign, the $120 million “Come and Say G’Day”, was rolled out late last year in New York, featuring an animated toy kangaroo called Ruby voiced by actor Rose Byrne.
Its CMO Susan Coghill gave a keynote about the campaign at this week’s Cannes In Cairns conference. You can read about that HERE.
“It’s an industry made up of over 350,000 mostly small, mom-and-pop businesses that take out a second mortgage to buy boats to take you on a tour of the Murray River or up to the Great Barrier Reef,” Coghill told the Cairns crowd.
“Tourism is our second-largest export. One in 12 jobs are tourism-related and here in Cairns, that number is one-in-eight,” she said.
Latest passenger numbers released by Sydney Airport showed numbers through the international terminal were back to around 80 per cent of pre-CVODI levels led by Australian travellers.