Investors now have an index they can use to monitor publicly-listed tourism companies.The index, launched by law firm Minter Ellison, chronicles the fortunes of sixty-two companies selected by the Tourism Task Force in consultation with the Australian Stock Exchange.Companies selected had significant tourism assets under control or deriving more than 10 per cent of their revenue from tourism, travel, leisure and associated infrastructure.Minter Ellison partner Nigel McBride said the index aimed to trace the performance of the tourism sector in relation to other sectors and the All Ordinaries Index.It is believed investment in theindustry will increase when people see how well the sector is doing.Mr McBride said Minter Ellison would also begin organising meetings for Perth tourism industry leaders to help increase the synergy of the sector.WA Tourism Commission CEO Shane Crockett said the tourism sector had to work closer together and have a uniform approach when dealing with government and the community.He said the industry needed direction and purpose in order to succeed.Ineffective lobbying of the government during negotiations surrounding the GST were an example of the industry not working well as one.While the airlines had managed to be made GST-exempt and were considered as an export, the tourism industry – while still an export industry – had been passed over by the Federal Government, Mr Crockett said.He also said the Perth City Council often devoted a disproportional time on small retailers when compared with Perth’s large hotels.Mr Crockett said it was important WA provided something different and exciting for overseas tourists.He said as people travelled more they became more sophisticated and knowledgeable. Simple things such as keeping outback roads unsealed could offer a unique experience for travellers.Companies providing a unique element combined with the luxury of a good bed and well-appointed coaches would do well, Mr Crockett said.In Perth the total accommodation capacity for travellers has increased by 7 per cent from 16,643 to 17,783 guest rooms according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest figures.In 1997, 8 per cent of all visitors came from interstate while 83 per cent came from within WA. International visitors comprised the remainder.The majority of international visitors visit Perth. Interstate tourists also visit the South-West (12 per cent) and Kimberley (10 per cent) regions.
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