The VECCI-Bank of Melbourne survey of business trends and prospects released today reveals that export activity, selling prices and investment levels in the tourism sector were strong over the three months to December 2014.
“It is pleasing to see that tourism respondents reported some of the highest levels of capital investment and export activity, with these positive trading conditions expected to continue through the first quarter of 2015,” said VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
“A contributing factor could be the low Australian dollar which encourages domestic tourism, as well as improves the value proposition of Australia as a long-haul destination for international travellers.”
Despite expected positive trading conditions in the first quarter of 2015, profitability in the sector is expected to decline, in part due to the continued rise in labour and wage costs.
Of the seven major industry sectors surveyed, the greatest number of respondents reporting that they were affected by penalty rates came from the tourism and recreation sector.
Of the respondents affected by penalty rates across all sectors, almost all indicated they would provide additional working hours to employees or reinvest the savings back into their business if penalty rates were removed.
“The survey results show us that despite some strong performance in our sector, wage and labour costs remain a significant constraint on tourism businesses,” said Ms Smith.
“VTIC will continue to advocate for reforms that encourage jobs growth and improved productivity as visitor numbers grow in the sector.”