The Adrian Loveridge Column – ‘Third Parties’ Weak On Tourism
Over the years, I have made a conscious effort to try and avoid petty party politics, but the next election could well fundamentally change the existing governance status quo that many of us have grown contemptuous of.
Now with a choice of several other parties, all striving to become electoral aspirants, perhaps among the widespread disillusionment, there is a sufficient voter groundswell that could see these minority parties taking at least four or five seats in Parliament which could quite possibly eliminate any outright single party majority.
Would this, in itself help eliminate the current tribalism and lead to better Government?
I have been absolutely dumbfounded from a tourism perspective by the lack of public and media discussion by these new parties and the majority of their representatives about this critical sector and the way forward. Until any other part of the economy demonstrates any meaningful recovery, where are the ideas and tangible proposals that could convince us involved in tourism to vote for you?
I raised this point with one of the named candidates and she kindly pointed me in the direction of their website home page. While I personally found some of stated objectives a little vague, at least that party had made some attempt to voice their views.
Looking through the recently published list of candidate hopefuls, very few have any substantive proven record in tourism and that seriously concerns me. Up until the general election date is called, I would have hoped that the media could be more proactive in putting the various candidates together to discuss the very many concerns with the vested members of the public and private sector tourism players.
Certainly any serious investors would want to know what the various political groups have in mind, if they are going to commit any meaning funds. Tourism usually requires long term investment with some remote hope of ultimately securing a return. The many thousands of people directly or indirectly employed in tourism and those dependent on these wage earners also want to know, which party or political group will give them the best chance to remain employed.
So I call on those political ‘wannabes’, especially those with some experience in the industry to let us know what your priorities are and to articulate what you plan to do for tourism over the next five years?
I make the same plea to our sector leaders, shapers and shakers to ask questions now, so at least we have some idea how level the playing field is likely to be, should the administration be changed.
Will further taxpayer owned accommodation plant be sold off at far below market values?
Will future investors qualify for unique extraordinary tax concessions already granted to solitary operators?
What incentives will be put in place to stimulate domestic tourism?
These are serious questions that need to be asked and answered, way before we are asked to place a cross on any polling paper.