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Thursday 20th of June 2013
Australian tourism slammed for poor service
A leading travel expert has hit out at Australia’s level of service to customers compared to competitors in destinations such as Fiji, Thailand and Bali. John Lee, chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said the country was struggling to keep up with the standards offered to tourists in other parts of Asia.
He pointed to travel websites like TripAdvisor where consumers publish their holiday experiences saying too many appeared to be negative. In particular, travellers seem to be complaining about poor facilities and staff who just don’t seem to care.
Mr Lee explained that because tourism is a global industry, the bar continues to rise and Australian standards have to rise with it, especially in terms of customer service. He blamed a national skills shortage and said too many workers were leaving tourism and hospitality for jobs in the mines.
A recently conducted TTF-American Express survey entitled Are You Being Served? shows that 80 per cent of travellers think customer service is extremely important and that three-quarters are prepared to pay more for better service. Having to pay excess charges for services such as credit card handling was however a big negative with respondents.
According to Christine Wakefield from American Express, a major problem for tourism operators is the strength of the Australian dollar. She explained that if customers were given anything less than a first-class experience they were unlikely to come back and would spend their cash elsewhere. The survey consisted of Australians who had been away from their homes for at least one night in the past year.
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