By THE WALL STREET JOURNALISTSSYDNEY (AP) The public tour operators that cater to the public at Sydney’s famous Pyrmont Castle have said they are facing an uncertain future as tourism is slashed to record lows due to budget cuts and the closure of a popular golf course.
Sydney’s privately owned private tour operators say they’re facing a tough time and will be forced to shut down at the end of the year unless they can find money to survive.
The Pyrmont Touring Club says it’s working on an interim plan that will ensure tours can continue but won’t reopen until at least March 2019.
It says it expects to lose more than $1 million a year from the resort.
It’s a setback for a group that has been on a rapid growth trajectory since its inception nearly 20 years ago.
Its membership has quadrupled to more than 1,200 and its annual turnover now stands at more than half a billion dollars.
It started with a single golf course at the site of a former military barracks in the 1980s and has since expanded to more courses, hotels and resorts across the city.
It now boasts nearly 1,600 facilities across the country.
Tour operators at Pyrmont are worried the closures and the cutbacks will affect their business, but say the resort is a valuable asset for tourism.
“We’re very, very optimistic, we’re very confident we can still find a way to survive and continue our business,” said the club’s executive director of operations, Stephen Kestelman.
Tourists are spending $2 billion a year in Australia on travel and accommodation.
They pay about $50 a day, a fraction of the average hotel bill.
A recent survey by the Tourism Industry Council of Australia found the average holidaymaker spends about $5,000 on hotel bills.
The group is asking tourists to donate their hotel bill to the Pyrmont Project, an initiative to help the resort and its members survive.
It wants to open another golf course, which has been closed in recent years.
The group also wants to reopen the Pyrmptons private golf club, which it said had been closed for almost two decades.
The private tour companies have been among the hardest hit in Australia, losing more than 60 per cent of their business.
Tourism Minister Peter Dutton announced in February that he was considering whether to scrap the club and the golf course if the government doesn’t find another source of revenue.