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Leaders In Tourism And Hospitality Sign Memorandum

LEADERS IN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Leaders in the tourism and hospitality industry represented by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and the Hospitality Association of New Zealand (HANZ) today signed a memorandum of understanding covering regional tourism marketing initiatives, SARS’ effect on the industry, smoking and tourism bed taxes.

For the first time, the National Executives of the hotel associations of both New Zealand and Australia held a joint meeting and signed an historic memorandum of understanding with a review on progress due in six months time.

Mr Bruce Robertson, Chief Executive of HANZ said today “Our memorandum of understanding recognises the importance to our patrons in minimising the risks associated with second hand smoke in hospitality venues.

“Operators must be allowed to cater towards the needs of all our patrons regardless of whether they smoke or choose not to. This is best addressed through ventilation, filtration and other measures rather than total smoking bans.

Mr Robertson was also pleased with the sensible approach taken by Australian Governments in removing prohibitive bed taxes on the accommodation sector.

“It is clearly apparent that Sydney’s imposition of a bed tax prior to its abolition had a devastating impact on the tourism industry. Regressive sector specific taxes do not make sense and it was re-affirmed today that both countries remain strongly opposed to their introduction.

Mr Richard Mulcahy, National Executive Director of the AHA said today “Both countries agreed that it was important to support and advocate greater co-operation between each other in jointly marketing the Australasian region.

Cont..
“In the competitive world of tourism marketing, it is difficult for both countries to be individually heard. We believe joint regional marketing initiatives need to be further encouraged in order to maximise the impact on potential tourists to our region.

Mr Mulcahy further said “Long haul destinations such as Australia and New Zealand remain concerned over the impact SARS will have on tourism to the region.

“It is especially commendable that the Australian and New Zealand Governments have acted swiftly to try and minimise the spread of the virus. Potential tourists need to feel confidence and certainty in making their travel decisions.

The two Associations represent significant investments in the tourism and hospitality industry and it is important to share common experience on these issues.

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