Radisson Blu Sydney General Manager, Peter Tudehope.
TAA Chairman Peter Tudehope warned against complacency at the 2018 TAA Awards in Sydney.

Tourism Accommodation Australia chairman Peter Tudehope has urged the NSW government to remain vigilant regarding the lack of regulation currently enjoyed by short term letting providers and to even the playing field to ensure the long-term ongoing strength of the hotel industry.

Speaking at the annual TAA Awards, held last night at The Star in Sydney, Tudehope acknowledged that work and efforts were underway, but encouraged the government not to take its foot off the accelerator when it came to levelling the playing field.

“In terms of shadow supply, we remain concerned at the lack of a level playing field but acknowledge that the government has moved to a stronger outcome than originally proposed,” Tudehope said.

“We continue to reinforce that, in the same way that hotels are transparent in their supply, there is registration and identification of properties within this market.  The industry’s sustainability depends on it!”

Tudehope referenced the strong level of investment currently in the Sydney market collectively for new-build and redeveloped hotels, transport infrastructure and tourism in general all working together to further strengthen market confidence. Within the Sydney metropolitan region, more than 2,500 new hotel rooms were under active construction and around 7,000 planned or proposed in an effort to ease Sydney’s capacity issues. Tudehope added that it was critical that governments at all levels supported this growth and assisted with the removal of “red tape and planning constraints”.

From the formation of Destination NSW as a government body in 2011, the wider visitor economy has grown by nearly 50% and was a clear indication that government support was helping the leisure tourism sector and its MICE counterpart body Business Events Sydney reach new levels of success, Tudehope added.

He said four-year budget commitments and ongoing funding for regional NSW and its associated environment funds to help dispersal of travellers across the state was providing a level of certainty to the industry and assisting government bodies and visitor programs to achieve growth targets. Tudehope also acknowledged over $1 billion in government support provided to initiatives such as the Hotel Careers Expo, fee-free apprenticeships, training programs and skills development courses. Such investment was contributing to the retention of over 60,000 employees in NSW alone and the value of a sector worth $8 billion in gross product.