Report causes big concern
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.