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Australian Tourist Commission and Austrade sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) signed a Memorandum of Understanding

The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further develop co-operative activities between the two organisations.

One of the first initiatives following the signing of the MOU will be a joint Business Travel Partnership Program for 2002-2003, initially in the United States, which will involve attendance at relevant trade fairs, sales missions and receptions targeting overseas corporate travellers.

ATC Managing Director, Mr Ken Boundy, said that the move provided a natural synergy, given some of the common objectives shared by both organisations.

This MOU demonstrates a commitment by both organisations to build a closer working relationship and put in place a cooperative framework for joint and complementary activities, said Mr Boundy. Both organisations share similar goals such as promoting service exports and raising awareness of Australia in international markets, so it makes sense for us to be working more closely together.

Austrade Managing Director, Mr Peter O’Byrne, said the agreement contributes to the whole-of-government commitment to double the number of Australian companies exporting within five years.

Austrade research shows that, on average, exporting companies are more profitable than their non-exporting counterparts, have better growth prospects, and tend to adapt technology and best practice management techniques more quickly, Mr O’Byrne said.

The bottom line is that Australian businesses that go international lift their standards – and the tourism sector epitomises this. Austrade is keen to assist even more tourism operators develop and use their experience in international markets.

The signing of the agreement commits both parties to:

  • working together to raise public awareness of the importance to Australia of tourism as an export;

  • sharing relevant information, programs, resources and research data;

  • sharing information on priority markets in order to undertake collaborative and complementary activities in those markets;

  • creating hotlinks between the organisations’ websites;

  • cross-referral of clients, where appropriate;

  • working together on joint projects/activities such as trade exhibitions, missions, roadshows and showcases;

  • exploring the possibility of resource sharing and co-location of overseas operations; and

  • where practical, undertaking staff exchanges.

Some of the specific projects and initiatives that we have been discussing include the exchange of research and market intelligence on trends in overseas markets and collaboration on tourism related activities and events in key markets, such as ‘Celebrate Australia’ in Hong Kong and Shanghai, said Mr Boundy.

There are also significant opportunities to work together to promote sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, and to leverage these events to help achieve positive business outcomes for Australian companies. There is also a multitude of opportunities to help identify and win further international business events and meetings for Australia.

The ATC and Austrade are already working together on a number of initiatives such as:

  • Celebrate Australia, Singapore and Malaysia – a multi government agency promotion involving the ATC, Austrade, Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the High Commissioners of each country. The promotions are designed to promote ‘contemporary Australia’, with events ranging from fashion to food and wine to unique Australian products. These promotions will be continued and expanded next year.

  • India ‘Bollywood’ – the ATC is working with Austrade to promote Australia to the Indian Film Industry (‘Bollywood’).

  • Latin America – Austrade is utilising its networks to convey the tourism message in the Latin American market.

  • Middle East and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Austrade is assessing how they can support Australian product in getting to market. ATC will also utilise Austrade’s presence in the UAE for cultural insights and knowledge.

  • Business Tourism, Europe and the Americas – developing opportunities and identification of mutual leads in the area of Business Tourism.

  • Overseas Offices – the ATC subleases premises from Austrade in Tokyo and Los Angeles.

The combination of the Australian Government’s export facilitation agency working together with the Australian Government’s international tourism promotion body will form a relationship that will have benefits for all Australia, Mr Boundy said.

By working together to double the number of Australian exporters, we are paving the way for an Australia that provides improved employment options, regional development and industries which are competitive on the world stage, Mr O’Byrne said.