After booming throughout the 1980's to become Australia's largest foreign exchange earner by the end of the decade, Australian tourism entered the 1990's caught in a credit squeeze. With the number of international tourists continuing to grow strongly, this dichotomy became the subject of intense scrutiny and pressure.
This document examines the investment environment for the tourism industry in Australia. It presents the size and potential of the industry in economic terms. It then sought to understand the history which created the present problem and the investment needs currently being unmet. After noting the position of the main participants, this document examined the investment environment through the taxation system, Australia's equity position and the impact of foreign investors. Finally, the political policies of the Government and Opposition which effect tourism, currently the subject of much debate, were contrasted.
Of the many factors considered, the key conclusion on remedying the dilemma lies most with the political and industrial relations climate. Reform in this area allowing Australian hotels and resorts to move up to world comparable profitability levels would attract investment funds more appropriately Le. as demand and opportunity arose.