Victoria’s tourism and recreational sector has reported a lacklustre outlook for the third quarter of 2016, despite almost a third of surveyed businesses reporting a rise in export activity, the latest snapshot of business trends and prospects has revealed.
While international visitors to Victoria increased by more than 12 per cent in the year ending March 2016, trends in domestic and international sales are forecast to ease in the next quarter.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Dianne Smith said that while sales are likely to slow, labour costs will continue to rise, putting pressure on profitability of many businesses.
“These trends are likely to be due in part to the winter off-peak season which is often reflected by lower expectations from many in the tourism sector. Businesses also use this time to invest in their buildings and structures and do maintenance or upgrades,” Ms Smith said.
“There are longer term issues though, as many in this sector said they continue to be hamstrung by penalty rates and inflexible labour laws.”
The survey of 380 Victorian businesses by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry found workplace relations reform was a particularly important federal election issue to the tourism and recreational sector.
Ms Smith said that as Victoria heads towards another summer season, the tourism and recreational sector should look to increase even further the record growth it experienced the year before.
“Victoria is well and truly on the global stage as a destination of choice for many international visitors, recording growth well above the national average,” she said.
“All businesses should be actively looking at ways to stay up-to-date and competitive as they head into another summer, and the 2016 Victorian Tourism Conference is a chance to hear from a stellar line-up of industry experts and thought leaders.”
The Victorian Tourism Conference is being held at Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre on July 25 – 26, featuring Google Australia’s Head of Tourism, Dougal McKenzie, Founder of Thinktank Social, Sam Mutimer, Destination Marketing Senior Sales Executive from TripAdvisor Jessica Quinlan, Author and Keynote Speaker Sam Sammartino and many more.