‘Dodgy’ operators are costing legitimate hostels millions of dollars a year and are potentially damaging Australia as a safe, quality backpacker destination. The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) welcomes the announcement that the NSW Government will establish a working group to combat the problem, which also appears to exist in Melbourne and Brisbane.
The illegitimate hostels can make the lives of neighbouring residents miserable, they ‘steal’ money from the government as they don’t pay GST, compliance fees, or business rates and in some cases they place guests at risk through unhygienic, overcrowded premises that don’t adhere to fire or other safety regulations.
The announcement follows a detailed report by ATEC into the mushrooming of such hostels in Sydney. According to the report, NSW alone, the annual revenue loss is in the vicinity of $14 million to the Commonwealth Government and $5.2 milion to the State Government.
A full copy of the report is available at the ATEC website www.atec.net.au under ‘latest news’.