The CEO, President and Members of the Accommodation Association (AA) met with representatives of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) for the first time this week at the TAA’s annual Chairman’s Drinks at Crown Sydney.
Speaking at the event on Thursday evening, TAA chief executive Michael Johnson stressed the importance of the occasion in the run-up to the merger of the two associations later this year.
“This joint function is another major step in the merger of these two great associations; another step on the path to creating a single powerful voice for our industry at a crucial time,” Johnson said.
During the evening, speakers from both associations recounted some of the major challenges the industry has faced over the past year as well as major achievements and shared an overwhelmingly positive outlook for the future of the industry. .
Speaking on behalf of TAA NSW Chairman Richard Doyle, who was unable to attend, TAA Board Member Glen Boultwood said it was time for the industry to change course. perspective and focus on opportunities.
“I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of this industry,” Boultwood said.
“People’s ability to travel has flourished during the pandemic, unabated. In parts of the New South Wales region, we are currently experiencing record levels of income and profit as people take shorter breaks.
“We are starting to see corporate and business events slowly picking up and the booking schedule for corporate events in the second half of this year looks positive.”
Boultwood said forced cost savings and having to rethink the way hotels are run will drive the industry to be more profitable in the future.
The TAA has worked closely with the government to address the continuing problem of labor shortages, and Boultwood said the association is working to increase the time frame in which international students can work.
Pat Lonergan, chairman of the board of the Accommodation Association of NSW, also spoke about these challenges, saying the projected unemployment rate of 3% will put a lot of pressure on businesses to find new talent.
Lonergan also spoke about the importance of getting people back into CBDs.
“One thing we need to do is make sure as an industry that we are committed to supporting initiatives to get people back into the CBD.”
Boultwood reiterated the need for a positive attitude towards these issues.
“Yes, there are challenges to be faced, but we have to change our point of view from seeing them as problems, to seeing them as opportunities,” he said.
“Once unlocked, we can generate record levels of revenue and profit over the next few years.
“Now is the time to be bold, to change the status quo and make this industry the most profitable it has ever been.”
AA President Leanne Harwood also addressed attendees in the evening, stressing the importance of the industry showing a united front.
“We’re standing here for the very first time as the single voice of the industry,” she said.
“I can’t stress enough how incredibly important it is for us to lead the recovery of our industry, united and united.
“We will lead this recovery together…we will lead across our states and territories joined at the hip.”
Harwood highlighted the associations’ joint achievements, including business support payments, voucher programs and refunds for canceled school holidays.
“There has been tireless work across the country to continue to advocate and deliver meaningful results for our members and for our sector,” she said.
“It has been great to see the impact of our combined efforts on government over the past few months, making a difference. From business support payments that keep the lights on, to voucher programs that have encouraged people to walk through our open doors. We’ve had a seat at the table with the government and been at the forefront of discussions on all the issues facing our industry, from floods, quarantine and skills shortages to a topic that I’m incredibly passionate about , diversity, equity and inclusion.
Harwood added, “The best results are achieved when we all work together.”
“Now is definitely not the time to sit back and be passive, I agree it’s time to be bold. It’s time to be optimistic and it’s time to do our best . »