Insight – Austrade and Tourism Australia: what we do

26 October 2021

We often get questions about ‘who is responsible for what’ in the Australian Government when it comes to tourism and the broader visitor economy. This article aims to answer this question.

Austrade and Tourism Australia work to advance the interests and sustainable growth of the visitor economy:

  • Austrade provides tourism policy advice to government and delivers tourism programs to industry.
  • Tourism Australia promotes Australia as a travel destination.

Both entities report to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

What Austrade does to support the visitor economy

Austrade is a government agency. We develop tourism policy as part of our broader international trade and investment promotion responsibilities. We represent the interests of the visitor economy to other parts of the government. The goal is to support the industry’s sustainable growth and prosperity in Australia and overseas.

The visitor economy covers:

  • domestic and international tourism
  • international student, business and leisure travellers
  • associated industries such as hospitality, aviation and accommodation.

Overseeing the national tourism strategy

We manage the Reimagining the Visitor Economy work. This focuses on developing and implementing the next long-term strategy for the visitor economy.

The Austrade–Industry Visitor Economy Stakeholder Forum provides information and updates to the government. This information from industry is vital as Australia prepares to reopen its borders.

We also lead the Australian Standing Committee on Tourism (ASCOT). ASCOT comprises all state and territory policy and marketing agencies, Tourism Australia and Austrade.

Providing tourism data and intelligence

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) is a business unit in Austrade. TRA is Australia’s leading provider of tourism data and intelligence across international and domestic markets.

TRA provides industry stakeholders with information to strengthen their marketing and business decisions. It also equips governments with research to underpin robust policy development.

Administering grant programs

We work with industry to design and deliver grant programs that help grow businesses in the visitor economy. This function has become more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also run Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program. EMDG supports exporters including tourism businesses to start, expand and diversify their overseas promotion and exporting.

Marketing and promoting Australian education and training overseas

We market and promote Australian education and training overseas. Education and training is part of the visitor economy.

We use our international network to find opportunities and share market intelligence to education providers. This information helps them develop their international business.

What Tourism Australia does

Tourism Australia is an Australian Government corporate entity. It is responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia for leisure and business events.

Tourism Australia carries out targeted marketing to consumers in overseas markets. It also engages with industry to grow business knowledge and marketing capability.

Connecting Australia’s tourism industry with international partners

Tourism Australia hosts trade platforms and events to connect Australian industry with international distribution partners. For example, the Australian Tourism Exchange connects hundreds of Australian tourism businesses with international buyers.

Partnership marketing with airlines and distribution partners

Tourism Australia conducts partnership marketing with airlines and distribution partners to convert demand into bookings. The Aussie Specialist Program trains travel agents on how to sell Australia to the world.

Driving demand for domestic tourism

Tourism Australia focuses on attracting international visitors. After the 2019–20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, its remit currently includes the domestic market. The organisation works with states and territories to take an Australia-wide approach to marketing campaigns.

Engaging with industry

Tourism Australia engages with industry and supports marketing programs. For example, it is rolling out the National Experience Content Initiative. The initiative provides marketing collateral to tourism operators to help them promote their business.

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Contact us

For more information about tourism grants or statistics, email visitoreconomynews@austrade.gov.au