Opinion

Sustaining the visitation opportunities of our modern accommodation industry

The first quarter review of the accommodation industry’s support by domestic and international visitors during the summer and Easter holiday period has been the most successful of the past decade.

Added to this, has been the consistent completions and the ongoing start-ups of new high density complexes in major cities and regional centres throughout Queensland, as Australians continue to embrace the new 21st century living opportunities afforded by strata and community titled living. The important initiative that also continues to emerge over the past 12 months, is the positive opportunities which continue to be rolled out by governments and private enterprise to reinforce the decisions of Australian and international visitors to take an Aussie holiday and visit traditional and new destinations, by following the sunshine to Queensland.

While some statistics are showing that many holidaymakers are taking shorter breaks, the return of families during the traditional holiday season for longer term stays has seen many house full signs extending for longer periods during the Christmas, New Year and holiday weekends, leading up to what has been a record Easter holiday period – further extended by the Anzac Day weekend.

Importantly we have seen the power of international publicity in attracting greater numbers of international visitors returning to boost accommodation numbers and with near perfect weather conditions and a cyclone that affected far northern centres with rain but little structural damage, visitors were able to enjoy the uniqueness of a down under holiday.

The strategy developed by the state government and the tourist industry leaders through the DestinationQ project and policies has benefitted from some wonderful coverage of Australia and Queensland with the international media accompanying the royal tour by Prince William, baby Prince George and Princess Kate, exposing not only the wonderful backdrop of the diversity of Australian and Queensland destinations but also the warmth and friendship of the Australian people.

Queensland has the opportunity to have a second benefit of international exposure this year, with the G20 conference being staged in Brisbane and Cairns with official visitors from 29 nations (some 4000 delegates) accompanied by a 3000 strong contingent of journalists and media. The G20 gathering has already seen Brisbane and centres in South East Queensland already booked out to accommodate the world leaders and dignitaries together with their entourages who will be visiting Queensland and reporting about “life down under”.

Already major investors have been lured to review the opportunities to add to the accommodation and entertainment resources in Brisbane and other parts of Queensland to foster the state as the ideal international destination for visitors from the northern hemisphere and other parts of the globe to come and visit. These will be long term investors who have already begun their planning to win the opportunities and, prepared to add significant accommodation and entertainment resources not only to Brisbane and South East Queensland, but other regions in the state which is continuing to roll out policies to foster developments in national parks to allow visitors to live and explore in these unique regions and to further foster event visitation programs that will attract domestic and international visitors.

Who can forget the great lifestyle reforms the flowed from the staging of the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 World Expo that showcased the state and the nation.

There are plenty of regional, national and international events underway before the lead up and the staging of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The great benefit of the Queensland tourist and accommodation industry has been the diversity of self catering facilities that have been developed over the years and are able to accommodate visitors at affordable rates to suit all needs.

The commitment by the Brisbane Airport Corporation to the have the parallel runway in operation by 2020 which will see a further 10,000 workers operating in the airport precinct (currently 20,000 based on site) further demonstrates the confidence in the travel expectations for the curfew free airport.

While state and federal governments continue to work to stimulate economic growth as the global economy continues its slow recovery from the GFC, the focus on job opportunities which flow from the hospitality and accommodation industries is a major driver for our industry. Investors and retirees are returning to the property market for new lifestyle living and superannuation investment opportunities as key sites are being redeveloped to meet the population growth forecasts.

Industry history could well be measured by the success of 2014, when Queensland and Australia had the unique opportunity of ongoing international exposure and was able to showcase its holiday and long term living opportunities to the world. With new property legislation to be introduced this year so that management services will continue to be the most efficient in policy administration ensuring protection for all industry sectors, we are well placed to service holiday makers and long term residents in this new era of growth.

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