Training Provides Professional Positioning for Accommodation Industry

ARAMA continues to focus on the need to lift the profile of Australian tourist accommodation through our regular branch meetings and formal training opportunities for the management rights industry.

Through our regional network of branches, management rights owners and the teams are able to meet regularly to be updated on issues and concerns within the industry by specialists professionals and to address regional issues to ensure that as an industry sector we can positively contribute to the local and regional economies and to enhance their visitor reputation.

In recent years we have worked hard to initiate practical training options for all our members and their teams to ensure that we in management rights are focussed on visitor comfort and operational efficiencies that promote Australian tourism and the attractions available and the quality and diversity of affordable accommodation. Resident managers have a commitment to provide returns for their owners, modern management and asset protection of extensive complexes and, in the tourist sector of our industry, which is the largest sector, promotion to attract guests with the promise of an enjoyable holiday.

To further progress our industry in 21st century management skills and responsibilities, ARAMA has developed a number of alliances with specialist training organisations to deliver ongoing industry training for practitioners. It was therefore exciting for us to be recognised with a Tourism Training Australia Award for tourism training which received by our CEO Trevor Rawnsley in a ceremony at the NSW state parliament last month.

The awards were presented to recipients recognised for their outstanding industry leadership and commitment to people in a range of career destinations and went to representatives of major hotels, restaurants, airlines, travel and touristy operations, training colleges and institutions of higher education and community organisations by NSW premier Barry O’Farrell.

The commitment to training at all levels is now an essential element of modern day business practices.

The property industry was identified by the Council of Australian Governments as a key industry for the new occupational licensing system for strata managers.

Unfortunately the timetable for the implementation of the program has been deferred from the July 2012 planned start up to allow qualified people to practice nationally. But the drivers remain for professional development and training to maintain its high priority as we work to continue to compete in the global and domestic marketplace to continue to attract tourists and holiday makers.

It is important that to develop a reputation of service, that all levels of staff and management are properly prepared and trained for their tasks.

ARAMA continues to focus on these goals as a key tourism driver.

As TTA points out with an employment base of more than 1.3 million people, the industry is now preparing for an additional 325,000 new jobs in all sectors of tourism and hospitality. Each year more than 268,000 people undertake full and part-time training which is a salute to the progress being made by partnerships between industry and registered training organisations.

There is also some further encouraging news with the Australian Bureau of Statistics data released recently revealing that Australia attracted 1.6 million overseas visitors during the first quarter of 2012. This was despite the high Australian dollar and continued weak economic backdrop in key regions, there has been a 4.1% increase in arrivals compared to the first quarter of 2011. The new data indicated that in the first quarter of this year, almost 200,000 people visited from China, an increase of 10.7%.

Interestingly despite the devastation of last year’s Japanese tsunami, the data shows Japanese visitor arrivals rise 5.8% to 98,000 in the first quarter of 2012. A recovery in arrivals is now more evident from the United States, which has increased by 3.3% and the UK which rose by 3.1%, despite relative weakness in their respective economies.

While these international travel figures are interesting, we in tourism rely on Australians taking their holidays at home and we continue to face the challenge of competing with international destinations and attractions. We believe that in committing to training and quality service, we can attract Australians back to their traditional holiday destinations and provide all the comforts and security of domestic holidays.

The challenges remain within the tourist industry but we welcome the initiatives of the new Queensland government in its DestinationQ conference to be held in North Queensland that has suffered severely from natural disasters along with international competition.

The DestinationQ forum so early in the life of the new government is important to all regions and will no doubt provide a significant catalyst to focus of the economic importance to Queensland and Australia that tourism and tourists provide.

Chris Ward

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