News

Audit 'would help regional areas'

A COALITION government would audit Australia's accommodation capacity in a bid to lure more visitors to regional areas.

Opposition tourism spokesman Bob Baldwin said while he could not yet announce a definitive policy, the Coalition would complete a one-off audit of the industry's capacity to get a clear picture of what accommodation was available, and where.

At the moment, data on accommodation collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not take into account accommodation providers with less than 15 beds.

This meant many operators in regional areas were missed in the collection, leading to government decisions skewed towards larger operators, more often found in cities.

Mr Baldwin said if elected, the Coalition would ensure the audit would include small hotels, caravan parks, backpacker hostels, pubs and bed and breakfasts.

"Once this is known, we would be better placed to promote visitation to the regions for things like wine tourism, or for regional cultural and sporting events," Mr Baldwin said.

"Afterwards, accommodation service providers would be better able to attract finance to expand or enhance their venues, as banks need to know the likely return on investment.

"It also means Australia would be better placed to pitch for international events to be held outside capital cities."

It is understood the audit could lead to an online portal, which would collect and display data on national industry-wide occupancy rates on a regional basis.

"Businesses could choose to 'opt in' to this new service and enjoy all the benefits they currently enjoy through their interactions with finder services," Mr Baldwin said.

He said travellers would also be able to log-on and look at accommodation availability in different regions.

But research would have to be completed to ensure commercially sensitive information was not available - information which might show a competing accommodation provider what was happening on the other side of town.

Mr Baldwin said the program would be "designed by industry, for industry", to ensure the right information was shared and to ensure it informed government policy.

"Whilst maintaining successive governments' efforts to boost online business activity the Coalition will also investigate constructing a reliable, real-time, and industry-wide occupancy data collection and reporting service," he said.

"Designed by industry, for industry, it is envisaged that this independent office will gather and disseminate information on current occupancy levels.

"It will also gather information on forward bookings.

"The current system allows for reporting of past occupancy levels, providing a 'rear view mirror' snapshot in time."

The Federal Government this week launched a new Tourism Investment Guide, which highlights 80 different tourism investment opportunities across the nation.

While Mr Baldwin welcomed the announcement, he raised concerns the investment guide did not do enough for smaller operators outside of the high-end tourist ventures.

"The exclusion of small accommodation providers within the data capture represents a lost opportunity to establish a complete research platform upon which to base important tourism decisions" Mr Baldwin said.

"The government's focus on 80 new high end projects is an insult to other parts of the industry that feel ignored by Labor," Mr Baldwin said.

"It does nothing, for example, for the Australian Caravanning and Holiday Park Industry which is a significant tourism player employing over 10,000 people directly, generating in excess of $1.12 billion worth of annual accommodation revenue via 44.5 million overnight stays, much of which is in regional areas."

THE AUDIT

The Coalition's proposal would audit all accommodation service providers, including:

  • Pubs with rooms
  • Motels
  • Holiday parks
  • Time share accommodation
  • Backpackers;
  • Bed and Breakfasts;
  • Private rental accommodation an
  • Camping sites (typically owned by councils)

Topics:  accommodation, australian bureau of statistics, tourism




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

5 tips to boost your chances of winning the lotto in Warwick

Don't miss a chance to win a share in $22million.

WINNING the lotto isn't all about luck.

Widespread rain triggers mudslide on Granite Belt

WELCOME RAIN: Falls of up to 30mm were reported on Thursday night on the Granite Belt.

Region receives falls of 10 to 30mm

Jay Laga’aia performs for Clifton kids

G’DAY JAY: Jay Laga'aia performing at Clifton State School for Under Eights Week.

Jay Laga'aia performed to 400 under eights.

Latest deals and offers


She’ll be apples in Stanthorpe as festival kicks off

Jonathan Apple, festival president John Thouard, former Young Ambassadors Miriam Spina and Taylah Wantling and Isabella Grape welcomed the start of the 2016 Festival.

It’s a great start for the 10 days of festival ahead'

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Warwick High student named as hockey nationals umpire

Interview with Warwick High student Isaac Johnson who has been named as an umpire...

Start of Pentath-run wheelchair race in Warwick

Start of Wheelchair race at Pentath-run 1500

Warwick Hospital Get Up Petition

Deuchar resident Trevor Ives is heading up a GetUp petition against Federal Government cuts of as much as $62.8 million to funding at Warwick Hospital. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News

Deuchar resident Trevor Ives talks about a GetUp petition calling for no cuts to...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked