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New Roads Will Stimulate Tourism: Industry

By Ian Neubauer

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) is lobbying the Federal Government to build and upgrade roads around Sydney to stimulate tourism.

The TFF says building the M4 East and upgrading the Great Western Highway would reduce travel time to regional tourism destinations like the Blue Mountains and potentially generate hundreds of thousands of additional visitor nights, The Australian Financial Review reported.

“Every additional 100,000 visitor nights facilitated by this infrastructure would generate approximately $13 million in additional export earnings,” the TFF said in a paper, adding that insufficient tourism investment was hamstringing the sector.

The proposal is one of many that will be presented to senior Federal Government ministers today (September 16) at a Canberra summit that aims to address an industry in crisis as international and domestic visitor numbers continue to fall.

A recent International Visitor Survey showed foreign visitor numbers fell five percent during the 2007-08 fiscal year, with no real growth in the sector since the Sydney Olympics.

The TTF is the peak industry group for Australian tourism, transport, aviation and investment services. It represents hotel group Accor, developer Baulderstone Hornibrook Macquarie Bank and Qantas, among other industry stakeholders.

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