Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson.
Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson. Chrissy Harris

Coach tourism converges on Canberra

COACH tourism operators recently converged on Canberra for the launch of 'Moving People Across Australia' a National Policy for the Australian coach sector.

Moving People Across Australia, was launched by Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP.

The Policy Statement outlines key challenges faced by coach tourism operators in attracting business and proposes solutions the industry can undertake with the support of government.

Bus Industry Confederation of Australia executive director Michael Apps said: "At more than $5 billion turnover annually the coach sector is a valuable contributor to the tourism industry and the economy.

"Coaches have long been the poor cousin in the tourism sector, and the development of this National Policy Statement is about presenting a unified view on how we can grow the coach tourism sector and the role of industry and government in getting there," said Mr Apps.

Tourism Research Australia's 2008 Transport Fact Sheet found that on average international visitors travelling by coach stay longer in Australia and spend more during their trips than those travelling by plane.

The research found on average international visitors travelling by coach stay for 26 nights and spend $8,246 on their trip compared with aircraft travellers who stay for 16 nights, and spend $6,933 in total.

"Coaches offer an opportunity for Australia to present unique experiences for travellers that go beyond the standard iconic destination to iconic destination tourism packages on offer.

"Coaches can take tourists across and through Australia into our regions and off the beaten track to get a genuine feel for the country and the Australian lifestyle and culture.

"As tourists from rapidly growing markets such as China and India become more sophisticated in their tastes and seek more of these unique experiences we need to ensure we have a vibrant coach sector to meet this demand," said Mr Apps.

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