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Advisory firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers says while the mining industry is hurting tourism, the sector needs to capitalise on the boom if it wants to survive.
A new report by PwC said the mining industry had clogged up rural accommodation, raised prices, and made it hard for tourism providers to attract low-skilled labour.
But the report said many of mining’s unwelcome impact would be “here to stay” and the industry needed to change instead of wait for mining to turn down.
It said there was an increasing demand for providing “non-leisure” and business tourism.
It said the boom states of Western Australia and Queensland provided big opportunities for catering to these markets.
PwC also identified the growing middle class in China as a lucrative market but said domestic travellers still accounted for most Australian tourism.
Last month Tourism Research Australia said mining workers had “crowded out” Australia’s leisure sector.
The report said while accommodation and transport were sometimes reaping big rewards from the boom, the wider industry outside these sectors was finding it tough.
Following the TRA report tourism minister Martin Ferguson said there was no doubt some tourism providers were finding the mining boom difficult.
But he said other operators were “thriving” from catering to the mining industry.