Lobby group: Australian tourism caught in red tape

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The head of a tourism lobby group says the Australian industry has a serious balance of trade problem.

The executive director of the Tourism and Transport Forum has told a national conference in Brisbane more Australians are holidaying overseas and fewer international travellers are visiting the country.

Brett Gale told the Tourism Futures Conference that the higher Australian dollar has contributed to the imbalance but the industry has to better cater for emerging markets like China and India.

“We need to cut through the red tape and regulation and we need to make it easier to come up with new tourism product, whether it is allowing eco-sensitive development in our natural landscapes or new hotels in our cities,” he said.

“The red tape gets in the way and we can’t offer things that overseas visitors want.”