Visit the ‘Stop-illegal-letting’ website if you know about illegal rentals
PWF adressed the backpacker industry’s issue of unscrupulous landlords renting out residential properties as illegal hostels in June and July 2005. In 2007 the AHA (Australian Hotels Association) continues tackling the problem of illegal holiday or short-term letting in residential areas.
The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and the Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel (BTAP) have for some time been lobbying the NSW Government, in particular, to address the problem – with limited success. The AHA is compiling a list of complaints to be forwarded to relevant local councils. For further information, or to report a problem, you can visit their specially designed “Stop-illegal-letting” website.
In a recent win for Sydney City Council, the NSW Land and Environment Court dismissed an appeal which sought to allow tourist apartments to be mixed in one building with residential apartments. The decision creates greater planning certainty and is a positive for legitimate tourism operators.
Summer surge in numbers
After the 2006 mid-year, World Cup-induced blues when business dropped severely, the year finished on a strong note, which has continued into 2007. The December/January period saw the usual summer surge boosted this year by the Ashes. In some cities, hostel operators also appear to be benefitting from a tightening apartment rental market with landlords now only offering longer tenancies.
Working holiday maker scheme
All reports are that the new eligibility for working holiday makers to stay with one employer for up to six months is doing well. This week the vexed question of reciprocal working holidays for the US was raised by Julian Ledger, Chair BTAP, with the US Consul Genera,l and he advised that it was being examined by a study group.
The latest International Visitor Survey results for the year ended December 2006 show that 545,000 backpackers visited Australia in 2006 (up 9.2%) and spent:
Here are the State breakdowns.
There is a growing public concern over the problem of global warming, including how it relates to long distance air travel. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” has been one catalyst raising awareness to new levels, especially in Northern Europe – home to Australia’s biggest backpacker markets. What can Australian tourism do? Developing excellent environmental practices and communicating these to prospective customers.
The ATEC Backpackers’ Conference at the Byron Bay Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge will be held on Wednesday 18 April. There’ll be an attempt to ‘pull it all together’ and make sense of recent trends.The program will include sessions on :
If you’re in the industry you might be interested in receiving the BITE Backpacker Industry Trade E-news. Email your details to: email@example.com