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Australia Introduces National Accreditation Scheme for Tourism

By Ian Neubauer

The Federal Government is aiming to boost lagging tourism and give Australia a competitive edge by introducing a national accreditation scheme for the sector.

The Tourism Ministers Council, which incorporates tourism minsters from every state and territory in Australia, said this week it would do away with disjointed state accreditation and provide a new scheme that would allow businesses to promote themselves as reputable operators, The Australian Financial Review reported.

The new scheme will apply to accommodation providers, tour operators and service providers but not to travel agents, which are licensed through state consumer departments.

The Tourism Ministers Council hopes national accreditation will providing a branding advantage to the sector that is seeing shrinking profit and zero growth as a result of rising fuel costs and the soaring value of the Australian dollar, among other factors.

Australia is one of the few major international tourism destinations where the issue of accreditation has not yet been addressed on a national level. The EU has a licencing scheme for tour guides and internationally recognised rating system for hotels.