Safety the key to protect tourism

Written on the 9 September 2009

A climate change and tourism industry official from Sweden says the tourism model on the Gold Coast must be restructured to comply with international environmental standards. But Gold Coast Tourism says jobs and the safety of tourists take priority.

SPEAKING at the recent Tourism Futures Conference, Stefan Gossling believes the environment needs to be factored into the equation if the Coast is to reverse its current industry slump.

“When the economy emerges from the current recession, Australian tourism should look to re-launch itself with a more environmentally compatible business model,” says Gossling, a professor at Lund University.

“Such a refocus would see Australia abandon targets for increasingly high volumes of tourists. The only strategy for success into the future is in an industry where visitors stay longer and spend more.”

But Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter, says traveller security and jobs, not eco-marketing objectives will provide stability in the short-term.

“At the moment, we are focused on the maintenance of jobs and I don’t believe that now is the time to change the way that we market the destination,” says Winter.

“In the long-term, we agree that it’s (eco-marketing principles) going to be the most important factor. Since the economic crisis, business events on the Gold Coast have dropped off, but they are soon to be reactivated.”

Winter says the key and emerging markets of China and India do not base travel plans on the eco credentials of a destination, but rather value for money and proximity.

The bigger picture challenge is mending Australia’s strained diplomatic relationship with China. Declining tourist numbers are hampering a $2.2 billion market, with visitor numbers down 80 per cent over the past three months due to concerns over swine flu and the global recession.

Tourism Australia’s latest Global Market Monitor report, shows incoming tourist applications from China — Australia’s fastest-growing tourism market — have collapsed by up to 80 per cent over the past three months.

“From my perspective, those people in our growth markets are an emerging middle class who are looking at price, access and value for money, whether they believe we are a carbon neutral destination or not,” says Winter.

Gossling is one of the world’s most highly-regarded academics specialising in the impact of climate change on the tourism industry. He says tourism will be among the most severely affected sectors since it’s highly dependent on climate.

“Consumers are keen to support green destinations and green products, although it is not clear if they are willing to pay extra for such items,” he says.

“Some businesses have started carbon neutralising schemes, and while many have failed I think there is enormous scope to ‘harvest’ the financial support of the travelling public.”

Gossling believes that if the tourism industry can work strategically and embrace the emissions challenge, tourism profits will increase.
One of the challenges, according to Gold Coast tourism is safety. Winter says safety remains as one of the barriers and GCT is working on an initiative that will improve safety with added security and the banning of glass in pubs and clubs.

“Safety is the most concerning issue and we will be working hard to improve it. All it takes is one front page headline regarding a serious assault and it can potentially undo countless dollars spent on investment,” he says.


Latest News

AGED CARE OPERATOR AVEO MAY FACE CLASS ACTION FROM RESIDENTS

MADDENS Lawyers is considering a class action against retirement village operator Aveo after a Four Corners-Fairfax i...

REA TO COP AN IMPAIRMENT HIT OF $180 MILLION

ONLINE real estate advertiser REA Group (ASX: REA) says it expects to take a non-cash impairment hit of $180 milli...

LENDERS TAKE CONTROL OF SLATER AND GORDON AS MD ANDREW GRECH STEPS DOWN

SLATER and Gordon boss Andrew Grech has stepped down and a board cleanout is underway as part of a major restructu...

BARTERCARD TAPS INTO FRENCH MARKET

BARTERCARD has taken its first steps into the French market as its listed parent BPS Technology (ASX: BPS) expands it...

Related News

AGED CARE OPERATOR AVEO MAY FACE CLASS ACTION FROM RESIDENTS

MADDENS Lawyers is considering a class action against retirement village operator Aveo after a Four Corners-Fairfax i...

BARTERCARD TAPS INTO FRENCH MARKET

BARTERCARD has taken its first steps into the French market as its listed parent BPS Technology (ASX: BPS) expands it...

CAIRNS COUPLE DIVE INTO THE SHARK TANK AND CONVINCE FELLOW 'BOATIE' GLEN RICHARDS TO WORK WITH THEM

THEY'RE a husband and wife team with an invention that can help save the Great Barrier Reef, and lives, and Pe...

DOWNER EDI GRABS MORE THAN 50 PER CENT STAKE IN HOSTILE TAKEOVER TARGET SPOTLESS

DOWNER EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) now holds more than 50 per cent of Spotless Group Holdings Limited's (ASX: SPO) sha...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter