Key topics for industry this month have included the federal election result, record international numbers through Melbourne Airport and great opportunities to get involved in festivities for Chinese New Year 2014.
VTIC congratulates the Coalition Government on its election victory. Although we are concerned about the lack of a dedicated tourism ministry, we are encouraged by The Coalition’s Policy for Tourism. It includes commitments to freeze the Passenger Movement Charge for this term of parliament, transfer the international tourism policy function to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and allocate $25 million (to be matched by state government funding) to the maintenance of the Great Ocean Road.
Business Sentiment Survey
VTIC’s Quarterly Business Sentiment Survey for the September quarter will be distributed to all members on 7 October. This is a great opportunity to make your voice heard. We appreciated the participation of all survey respondents in the June quarter survey. Click here to see the related media release.
In last month’s e-news, we wrote about backpacker and budget accommodation provider concerns about proposed changes by online booking site Hostelworld to contract terms and conditions. These would have compromise operators’ autonomy and control over stock and pricing. Pleasingly, this issue has now been addressed, with Hostelworld agreeing to review the proposed changes. VTIC was please to work with other industry bodies throughout Australia on this issue.
Melbourne Airport update
Melbourne Airport reported double digit international passenger growth in August 2013. Some 635,000 passengers passed through the airport during the month, a 13.8 per cent rise year-on-year. Inbound travel by international passport holders jump 14.5 per cent in August compared with the same month of 2012. South East Asian passport holders led this growth.
Notably, Air India commenced direct flights between Delhi and Melbourne on 31 August, a significant development given the increasing importance of the Indian market. To read the Victorian Government’s media release on Air India, click here.
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
Industry is reminded that, from 1 October 2013, a $5 fee will be charged to ride the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle. The fee will buy users an all-day ticket for the shuttle and children under ten years of age will continue to travel free.
Tickets will be available from Best of Souvenirs at the Melbourne Visitor Centre in Federation Square. For further information, see the City of Melbourne website here: http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/visitors/transport/shuttle/Pages/VisitorShuttle.aspx
All six of VTIC’s policy committees (Accommodation, Attractions, Destinations, Events, Tour and Transport and Tourism Services and Hospitality) are now operating. VTIC appreciates the valuable input provided by these committees in informing our advocacy agenda and communicating the concerns of industry to the VTIC Board.