TOURISM firms across the country will now have access to comprehensive business support that will help grow their businesses and keep jobs in the regional Australia.
Following Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement at last month's Future Jobs Forum that the highly successful Enterprise Connect program will be extended to the national tourism sector, tourism firms can now apply for business support through Enterprise Connect.
Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, said the expanded Enterprise Connect program will see Business Advisers assisting tourist accommodation providers, tourist attractions, tour operators, travel agencies and businesses offering local food and beverage tasting experiences.
"Enterprise Connect will provide tourism businesses with access to tailored, independent business advice, advisory service funding, workshops, market intelligence and valuable industry contacts and connections," Senator Carr said.
"We will help tourism businesses innovate, collaborate and identify new growth markets."
The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the national rollout of Enterprise Connect's tourism service is evidence of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy at work.
"By improving productivity and competitiveness, tourism businesses will be able to capitalise on new ideas for growth. Enterprise Connect is a valuable resource. It's effectiveness in assisting business has been proven time and again, and I encourage all eligible tourism businesses to apply," Mr Ferguson said.
The Minister Assisting on Tourism, Senator Nick Sherry, said over 8,000 Australian businesses have accessed Enterprise Connect services across a range of industries including manufacturing, defence and clean technologies.
"We've seen the positive impact of Enterprise Connect's tourism service in Queensland where I launched it as part of the $12 million tourism industry support package for that state. Now tourism enterprises across Australia will be able to access these excellent services and plan for success," Senator Sherry said.
A National Tourism Industry Network will be established within Enterprise Connect to coordinate services and direct support to growing the competitiveness of the tourism sector. This builds on Enterprise Connect's Queensland Tourism Service (QTS), established in May 2011 to assist flood and cyclone-affected Queensland tourism businesses.
Enterprise Connect is an Australian Government initiative backed by industry that offers comprehensive advice and support to eligible small and medium businesses to help them reach their full potential.
For more information on Enterprise Connect visit www.enterpriseconnect.gov.au or call 131 791.
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