|Survey shows concerns about Australia's competitiveness.|
Sunday, 16th September 2012
Source : Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF)
Factors affecting the competitiveness of Australia’s tourism industry are causing increasing concern among operators, the latest edition of the TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey shows.
The survey reports mixed news for tourism, with fears increased taxes may negatively impact on international arrivals balanced by the potential for growth in domestic travel.
TTF Chief Executive John Lee said the survey highlights key concerns.
“There’s been a spike in concern over the impact of taxes and charges on visitors,” Mr Lee said, “especially with the passenger movement charge rising from $47 to $55 from July 1.”
“Around 60 per cent of respondents believe the increase will negatively impact on visitation from New Zealand, with almost half also anticipating a negative impact on arrivals from China and Japan.
“The other area which has seen a sharp jump this quarter is access to bank financing, which impacts operators’ ability to invest in new and refreshed product.
“Concerns about inadequate room supply are also on the rise, along with the shortage of unskilled labour.
“In addition, the proportion of respondents who indicated they could employ more staff fell 14 points to 52, with other key indicators including forward bookings and sales also declining.
“All these elements combine to reduce the competitiveness of Australia as a tourism destination, which is of particular concern to leisure-dependent regional destinations which are trying to compete with low-cost Asia-Pacific rivals.
“Despite the concerns, operators believe conditions will improve in the current quarter, with expectations for domestic tourism up 10 points and international up 4 points, although performance is expected to remain below average for this time of year.”