Food for thought!
What with Tourism Australia’s ‘bloody hell’ advertisement and lots of talk about skills shortages – have you tried employing a chef lately? – there has been quite a bit written about tourism over the past few months. Here are a few extracts that paint a picture we all probably need to think about:
1) Decreased visitor spending
“It’s well known in the travel industry that Americans, Germans and many Asian travellers began losing their taste for Australian four years ago….Between 2004 and 2005 Thai tourists visiting Australia spent 12% less, German tourist outlays slumped nearly 10% and American visitors spent about 7% less.
(Lucrative) backpacker visitor nights dropped dramatically in NSW, the Northern Territory and South Australia, although there were some gains in Western Australia and Queensland in the four years to 2005.
(Some backpacker operators say) the problem with the federal government marketing is it is aimed at then 40-50 year age bracket whereas backpackers are usually under 28 years.”
(Lisa Allen, Australian Financial Review 17 March 2006)
2) Lift quality of grassroots tourism!
“Over 90% of businesses in the tourism industry are small to medium enterprises which are the entrepreneurial driving force that creates the value captured by the big corporate entities, both inside and outside the industry…. Because of their small size however, grassroots tourism businesses have limited funds for self-development in terms of educational programs, voluntary accreditation and the like.With some notable exceptions….too few corporate entities recognise their responsibility and the commercial opportunity of investing in lifting the quality of this sector…if our tourism industry is to cater to the projected nine million visitors who are expected to arrive annually by 2014, and to encourage them to stay longer and spend more, we need to grow tourism product, facilities and infrastructure – especially in regional areas.”
(Matthew Hingerty, MD Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC)- Media Release 15 March 2006 – You can contact Kerri Anderson T: 02 8262 5501 E: email@example.com )
3) Illegal serviced apartments threaten industry viability & duty of care to tourists
“One of the key issues affecting the whole industry is illegal serviced appartments….” TTF (Tourism & Transport Forum www.ttf.org.au) is lobbying for Local and State Governments to draft new planning codes to govern dual use developments -those integrated projects can include hotel, residential and commercial facilities.These projects are the fastest growing sector of the US market and will continue to grow in Australia, but few Local Councils have drafted planning laws to consider and govern such projects.
TTF will continue to push for a crackdown on illegal sereviced appartments, particularly in areas with sluggish residential sales and growing tourism demand, such as Sydney City, Melbourne Docklands, Brisbane River and the Gold Coast.
TTF has proposed a national certification scheme be adopted for accommodation operators to help distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate operators.”
(Kate Lennon TTF Manager Hotel Investment – Media Release 27 January 2006. You can contact Zoe Townsend T: 02 9240 2013 M: 0419 929 722)
4)Trend to shorter stays a challenge for the domestic market
“The Tasmanian Visitor Survey….shows the total number of visitors increased….(but) the trend towards shorter stays has continued. This is a significant challenge for Tasmania, as it is for other parts of regional Australia where the problem is even greater.Overall the total number of nights stayed in Tasmania decreased 6%….The decrease is a result of Australians taking shorter domestic holidays and is compounded by the availability of low-cost airline travel options”.