Support us and fix shortages, AAoA tells premier

The new Victorian government must hit the ground running when it comes to tourism, a leading industry body has warned.

The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) says the Andrews government must “commit to support” the accommodation industry and address the chronic skills shortage affecting the sector.

While congratulating the Labor Party on their recent election victory and welcoming new state tourism minister Martin Pakula, association CEO Richard Munro says there is no time to waste when it comes to Victorian tourism accommodation.

“It is imperative that the Andrews government commits to support the compliant accommodation industry, given its scale and its long-term investment pipeline of new hotels entering the Melbourne market in Victoria,” he said.

“Since 2016, 3625 new rooms have been added to the Melbourne market. There are currently 34,946 rooms in the city with the predicted supply by 2020 to be increased by 40 percent to 48,792.

“Similarly, the shortage of skilled workers in the industry needs to be addressed to ensure that there is access to highly trained and sustainable staff, to service the growing needs of the industry.

Mr Munro says his organisation will continue to “strongly urge” the Andrews government to back the new four-year funding agreement for Visit Victoria and Melbourne Convention Bureau.

“The importance of this four-year funding is that it would ensure that bids to host business and major events will continue, instead of being out on hold because of uncertainty surrounding the resources of the bureau,” he said.

Adrian Williams, chair of AAoA’s state advisory board, said he was excited to meet and work with the new tourism minister to discuss strategies to attract businesses and major events to Victoria.

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