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Tourism accommodation sector heads meet in Darwin

Michael Johnson flew into Darwin on Monday night and met with Darwin and Northern Territory GMs

The head of Australia’s peak tourism accommodation bodies spent some time in the ‘Top End’ this week meeting with general managers from local accommodation hotels to discuss a range of issues including the cost of airfares and affordable housing for workers.

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson flew into Darwin on Monday night and met with Darwin and Northern Territory GMs on Tuesday, before attending the prestigious Hospitality NT Awards for Excellence.

Mr Johnson, who is also interim CEO of the Accommodation Association in the lead-up to an amalgamation of the two bodies on July 1, said it was great to hear first-hand the issues impacting the local sector.

“We have seen great reprieve in staff shortages as more Working Holiday Visa holders return to areas like Darwin but there are major issues as to where to house them.

“Affordable housing for hospitality workers is very relevant in areas like the Top End.

“We need to free up housing so workers in all industries have somewhere to live – it’s no good having a job if you don’t have a roof over your head.

“The high cost of airfares from places like the east coast to Darwin and the impact on tourism was another issue raised.”

Mr Johnson also met with NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and was impressed with her knowledge of issues affecting the local tourism accommodation sector.

“TAA and AA will continue to work with governments at all levels as the industry continues to re-build post-pandemic,” he said.

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