Re­port causes big con­cern

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

THE Queens­land govern­ment will con­sult with the tourism in­dus­try af­ter a re­port found wide­spread in­dus­try con­cern over book­ing agents charg­ing ex­ces­sive com­mis­sions.

The re­port was ini­ti­ated by the pre­vi­ous govern­ment to look into and speak with the tourism in­dus­try to de­ter­mine what were the ma­jor con­cerns and is­sues fac­ing tourism busi­nesses.

Queens­land Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil spokesman Daniel Gch­swind said the core is­sue raised in the re­port was com­mis­sions.

“The com­mis­sion they ex­tract from op­er­a­tors in some cases is up to 35 to 40 per cent and in some cases op­er­a­tors feel that’s an un­fair dis­tri­bu­tion of the rev­enue,” he said.

“Op­er­a­tors who own boats carry the risk of their op­er­a­tions and they have to make an in­vest­ment and find it some­times dif­fi­cult to makes ends meet.”

Mr Gch­swind said the re­port goes into a range of so­lu­tions but draws to con­clu­sion that the is­sue of com­mis­sions is an is­sue for the tourism in­dus­try to sort out with­out govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion.

“The re­port sug­gests the in­dus­try get together and sort some­thing out, whether a code of con­duct or some kind of con­sen­sus, but it’s un­likely it will be through govern­ment reg­u­la­tion, es­sen­tially it’s a com­mer­cial is­sue be­tween two par­ties ,” he said.

“Some­thing like that might be raised in a fo­rum in Cairns next week called Des­ti­na­tion Q, the govern­ment is host­ing the event and there might be some guid­ance from that fo­rum.”

How­ever, Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said they were part of the in­ter­view­ing process for the re­port and said the govern­ment should get in­volved in reg­u­lat­ing book­ing com­mis­sions.

“I agree the tour desk com­mis­sions are way too high and this has been an on­go­ing thing in the in­dus­try for the last 15 years,” he said.

“It’s not some­thing new but it’s great the govern­ment’s taken a step.

“Try­ing to in­flu­ence and change it will re­quire state leg­is­la­tion oth­er­wise we won’t be able to en­force it.

“Years ago we did sel­f­reg­u­late in Port Dou­glas, ma­jor in­dus­try lead­ers got together and set a stan­dard of what it should be for tour desks and it held for a num­ber of years but slowly crept up.”

Also in a tourism in­dus­try win, an annual in­crease to the Pas­sen­ger Move­ment Charge has been re­moved from the govern­ment’s pro­posed leg­is­la­tion, stop­ping an in­crease in fees, a huge dis­in­cen­tive for trav­ellers.

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