Our Tasmanian future depends first on righting wrongs and not in the creation of new policy directions until these wrongs can be dealt with.
For example unless the problem of the monopoly in gaming and tourism are eliminated, how can we develop value added industries and better employment situations in the hospitality industry or new products and diversity across the state.
The fact that tourism is stagnating and growing behind benchmarks, like New Zealand or National trends is an indictment on its tired management which is focused on customers for the Spirit boats and the casinos or the 4 icons all of which are owned by the Casino owners. Why should Cradle Mountain and Freycinet and Port Arthur be the only advertised icons for the last 12 years, isn’t there anything else on this island. The arrival at the airport in Hobart is a dead give away to who controls the state’s tourism.
Where are the backpackers, our future settlers, value added humans who would stimulate this state out of its moribund navel gazing? Where are these adventurers exploring our state for new opportunities? Why is it that New Zealand with similar travel predicaments has managed to become an international adventurers paradise.
The limited views and innovation that exists in our tourism industry are stifled by the exceedingly large and overwhelming power of the Casino monopoly. The subsidization of restaurant meals and accommodation in gaming connected hotels negatively affects the rest of the hospitality industry. Employment is stagnant and innovation non existent. I wonder why so much of the restaurant industry is quiet about these tactics, are they intimidated by this monopoly power? Why is there no debate in this industry, no constructive critiscm or personalities rising to the occasion? Because this self critical analysis is lacking so is innovation.
The tourism boards are stagnant and new thought eliminated regularly, the boards are atrophied and are stifled by talking heads and consultants employed by Federal Hotels with the agreement of the Government. Why does no one complain, because its pointless. The industry suffers because it is spineless and on its knees begging bones from the casino operators.
Until the Tourism Ministry actively works to right these wrongs, atrophy will be the order of the day. The Ministry of course will do nothing, the Minister is incapable of political leadership to oppose this monopoly and the result despite the rhetoric is that nothing will happen except another talk fest congratulating themselves on nothing happening. The Ministry of Tourism needs to detach itself from inside the bowels of Federal Hotels, the technical college needs to produce managers for more than the Casino coffee shop and the owners of the 5000 tourism businesses need to overthrow their tourism management and seek to re-direct the Industry to explain Tasmania to the world.