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Growth builds confidence ‘but stamp out the rogues’

August 18, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

New forecasts of strong tourism growth over the next decade have encouraged Australia’s accommodation industry – but international tourists must be protected against “rogue sharing economy providers”, an industry spokesman has stated.

The Accommodation Association of Australia has welcomed forecasts by Tourism Research Australia that international visitation will reach 15 million arrivals in 2026/27 – which would represent growth of 75% on 2016/17.

“If the forecasts turn out to be correct, tourism is on track to become a powerhouse industry – again,” the association’s chief executive, Richard Munro, declared.

“Many people like to look back at the successful international promotion of Australia in the 1980s by the likes of Paul Hogan, but the reality is, there could be similar exciting times ahead for tourism.”

Munro added that for the predicted growth to be achieved, dispersal of international visitors beyond major capital cities must become a priority.

He said that all levels of government – “particularly local government, who reap tens of millions of dollars in fees and levies from accommodation businesses” – should adopt strategies to stimulate regional businesses and employment to cater for the anticipated visitor influx.

“For example, investment in events in regional Australia is a mechanism which helps facilitate visitor dispersal.

“Also important, given the number of visitors from China is forecast to increase by 168% in the next decade, is accommodation businesses being adequately prepared for higher numbers of Chinese tourists.”

Munro said Australia’s reputation for providing high quality, safe accommodation options for international visitors should not be taken for granted.

“The Accommodation Association welcomes the fact that some state governments have decided to take action against the practices of rogue sharing economy providers by introducing and/or tightening enforcement of standards for properties which are used for tourism accommodation,” Munro said.

“The practice of residential apartment blocks having most or all of their rooms posted on sharing economy platforms – which makes them quasi-hotels – must be stamped out.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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