17 Jun 2013

Small travel industry operators struggling - Jasons

6:59 am on 17 June 2013

Jasons Travel Media chairman John Sandford says small operators in the leisure and travel industry are struggling despite a record high number of tourists coming to the country.

Jasons reported a loss of $1.5 million for the year to the end of March but says it has a turnaround plan aimed at returning the company to profit next year.

The business which specialises in travel, tourism and leisure says the loss compares with the previous year's profit of $96,000.

Mr Sandford said revenue has been difficult to maintain for Jasons and its competitors because of the highly fragmented market.

He said the company is also affected by the tough trading conditions facing small and medium business clients, despite the high tourism numbers.

Mr Sandford said commercial accommodation operators are being challenged by the non-commercial sector, particularly in accommodation where there has been massive growth in the use of holiday home rentals.

"Because the holiday home people don't have to comply with a whole stack of local authority rules, taxes, regulations, central government taxes."

For example a holiday home operator can have a Sky TV subscription which is used by the guests who the home is rented to, but a motel owner must pay for Sky television subscription for every unit in the motel - so the costs are enormous.

He said more people are coming into the country but their dollars are being spread across a wider range of people.

Mr Sandford said good operators are continuing to grow and improve their business, but the ones that are weak for whatever reason are struggling.