Victoria’s tourism and events industry has indicated that wages costs, business taxes and government charges are the biggest challenges it faces at the moment, according to the state’s peak tourism and events industry body.
Results released in the latest quarterly business sentiment survey from the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) indicate the wages costs are the biggest concern for industry, with 68 per cent of respondents nominating this as a moderate or significant constraint on their business.
VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “It is not surprising that wage costs are the most significant challenge for our members at the moment, given the 24 hour, seven day a week nature of our industry. For some operators, keeping up with wage requirements makes running a successful business really difficult. We urge both parties to take this into consideration in the upcoming federal election.”
Business taxes and government charges were rated the second most prominent constraint, with nearly 60 per cent of respondents rating them as a moderate or significant constraint on their business.
“Tourism and events contribute so greatly to our communities, economically and culturally,” says Ms Smith. “It is time for government to recognise how significant our industry is and reflect this through proper resourcing of government departments and a better understanding of how our sector works.
“For an industry that is usually concerned with demand factors, such as domestic tourists travelling overseas, these results are a clear signal to governments that the cost of doing business is a real worry and threat to many businesses.
“We urge our next government to get out in the community and talk to their tourism operators. Despite these concerns, 60 per cent of respondents still felt very or slightly positive about their business prospects over the next three months. Our industry is mightily resilient and very optimistic about the future, but we do need these constraints to be understood and addressed.”
Consumer confident was rated the third most significant constraint to industry, while labour shortages and environmental factors ranked as the least concerning constraints.
Victoria’s tourism industry contributes over $19 billion to the state economy each year and employs more than 200,000 people.
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