By Andrew Starke

Research released by St.George Bank has found that business owners in the hotels, hospitality and tourism sector are a more cautious business group than 11 other industry segments surveyed.

Hotels, hospitality and tourism businesses surveyed as part of the bank’s Business Outlook report were among the least likely (64 percent) to believe recovery is underway in the new financial year.

On average, 75 percent of Australian businesses across all industries believe the economy is in recovery.

The hotels, hospitality and tourism sector were also more likely than average (86 percent) to believe different sectors are recovering at different speeds. The average for businesses across all industries is 78 percent.

“What is interesting about this research is it shows that business leaders are very much aware that significant differences exist between sectors of business in Australia and that some sectors are leading others,” said St. George Bank head of leisure and hospitality, Paul Cook.

Not surprisingly, only half of hotels, hospitality and tourism (49 percent) say their sector is helping to lead the nation’s recovery, trailing behind the highest respondent, the property development sector (75 percent) and the construction sector (63 percent).

The mood has not been helped by the collapse of two hotels owned by Hotel Ninety-Eight, a company which is 70 percent owned by Victor Seeto.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday (Jul 13) that BankWest had foreclosed on the Ancient Briton Pub in Glebe, Sydney and on the Dog and Parrot Tavern in Robina on the Gold Coast.

The former has experienced a roller-coaster ride in recent years, suffering financial trouble in 2008 after winning an Australian Hotels Association (AHA) award for ‘redeveloped hotel of the year’ in 2007.

According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), PPB have been appointed as receivers after neither property attracted a buyer.

The St. George research found that while hotel, hospitality and tourism sectors were amongst the most likely (65 percent) to record a drop in profit since the global financial crisis, there was reason for cautious optimism.

“Businesses appear to be relatively considered in their expectations,” said Cook. “As the Government stimulus fades, and interest rates rise, some businesses (in particular, those in retailing and tourism) may feel they are experiencing softer demand than they might have expected given the recovering economy.”

“The hotels, hospitality and tourism industry are relatively in line with the nation in terms of optimism for the future. As conditions continue to improve, hopefully, so too will their outlook and opportunities for growth.”

The findings mirror a survey run on this website where a poll found about half of respondents were ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the new financial year, a quarter ‘upbeat’ and a quarter ‘anxious’.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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