Key industry news this month includes the release of VTIC’s latest quarterly survey results, which showed that while operators are finding the cost of doing business particularly challenging, they are largely optimistic about the coming quarter. Other developments include contract concerns for the backpacker and budget accommodation sector and movement on tourism policy ahead of the federal election.
Quarterly Business Sentiment Survey
VTIC was pleased to re-launch its quarterly survey in June, taking the pulse of members to gauge industry sentiment. It was encouraging that 60 per cent of respondents felt ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ about general business conditions in the next quarter, and 60 per cent also felt ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ about the outlook for the performance of their individual business.
Wage costs, business taxes and government charges and consumer confidence were identified as the most constraining factors for Victorian tourism businesses in the June quarter.
Almost 70 per cent of respondents identified wage costs as a moderate or significant constraint on their business, while close to 59 per cent pointed to business taxes and government charges and nearly 58 per cent chose consumer confidence.
Click here for VTIC’s media release on the survey results.
The backpacker and budget accommodation sector is concerned by contract changes being implemented by leading online booking site Hostelworld.com.
The changes would limit operator autonomy and control over their own stock and marketing activities. VTIC is working with the Victorian budget accommodation sector and other national and international advocacy groups on this issue. For the related VTIC media release, click here.
Private investment in national parks
VTIC has been advocating for private sector investment in sustainable and appropriate tourism infrastructure in national parks for several years, following the recommendations of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s Inquiry into Tourism. The legislation to enable this (and extend leases of national park land to a maximum of 99 years) recently passed through the Legislative Council in Victoria without amendment.
Submission deadline approaching for heritage and ecotourism inquiry
The deadline for submissions to the Inquiry into Heritage Tourism and Ecotourism in Victoria, being conducted by the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, is coming up. Click here for more details.