Australia’s rising cost of living has left some resort operators facing an uncomfortable choice: to cut staff and slash their profits or cut prices.
Key points:New ski resort prices have risen faster than wages in Australia for the past five yearsSource:Sydney Morning HeraldA new survey by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) finds that resort operators in Australia have cut staff at an annualised rate of 14.3 per cent for the last five years.
This compares with a national average of 10 per cent annualised.
While some resorts have taken the lead in cutting staff and cutting prices, many have not.
The ACCC report also found that some resorts were charging customers higher rates for accommodation, and resort owners have also been finding it difficult to sell off their properties.
The survey found that most resorts were operating at a loss.
For example, a resort with $20 million in revenue would have a profit of $4.6 million.
But that would mean the business would need to spend $7.8 million on a total investment of $10.9 million.
This means the company is going to need to raise $10 million from the existing owners, according to the ACCC.
However, the report found that the majority of resorts were still profitable, with some even turning a profit.
For the top 25 most profitable resorts, 74 per cent were operating on a profit, while only 20 per cent reported losses.
More than half (54 per cent) of the top resorts in the study were profitable.
Some resorts are even taking on staff with the same roles as they did five years ago, according the report.
A lot of the resorts that were profitable five years back are not.
We see this a lot, and it is really disappointing.
There are a lot of resorts that are just not operating well.
They’re not doing what they should be doing and I think that’s partly due to a lot a lot more people being in the industry, not just in Australia, but around the world.
In the last few years, many of the big resorts have been able to tap into the global market for ski holidays.
However in some areas, like Queensland, the ski holiday industry has been left behind.
In Queensland, only a third of the most profitable ski resorts are operating, with only four out of 24 resorts in Queensland reporting a profit in the last financial year.
The industry has seen a decline in international visitors and ski trips to Australia.
The ACT has seen its numbers decline from the peak of 3.8million in 2014 to just under 1.6million in 2015.