Atherton Advisory Travel Law consultants

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International Tourism Law Institute

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Intensive course in Travel & Tourism Law offered in the Bond University graduate program Third Semester 2005

The Directors of Atherton Advisory offer an advanced course in Travel & Tourism Law at Bond University Gold Coast Australia and various other institutions. Enrolment is open to lawyers and non lawyers.

This subject examines the regulation of domestic and international tourism and analyses key current issues arising in the subject area. It aims to provide students with the understanding and insights required to provide specialised legal and policy advice to the many stakeholders in tourism including governments, investors, developers, operators, marketers, special interest groups, local communities and tourists themselves.

The course is offered on an intensive basis so that class attendance at Bond University is concentrated over four - five days of the semester which enables employed or foreign students to participate.

It will be offered at Bond in Semester 3 2006. View Travel & Tourism Law Course Information It will also be offered at several other institutions including Adelaide University in 2007.

The Directors are also assisting several other universities to establish courses in this subject area.


Seminar Program coming to a city near you on: How to Profit from your Ownership of a Holiday Rental Home or Apartment

The Directors of Atherton Advisory will be offering a series of seminars on this subject in each of the cities of Australia commencing with Sydney in November 2005. View Holiday Rental Seminar Details

In line with global trends, Australians are investing in holiday homes and apartments on an unprecedented scale. Holiday homes have become the preferred investment for baby boomers, sea changers and some savvy investors.

The trend is driven not only by lifestyle factors but also by improvements in marketing and management systems which now make it more feasible. Nevertheless it is not easy for owners to navigate their way through the minefield of practical, technical, commercial, tax and regulatory obstacles which remain.

The Directors have just completed an extensive research project and best practice study on this subject and now wish to assist holiday rental owners to become more professional and successful.


Holiday Rental Owners Association - the missing link in the institutional framework for tourism at a national and international level.

Trevor Atherton has just completed a review of the holiday rental accommodation industry in Australia and internationally which has produced some interesting findings including:

  1. On both the supply and demand side, holiday rental is the fastest growing segment of tourist accommodation at many destinations
  2. Factors driving this growth include lifestyle, investment and the world wide web
  3. Many commercial accommodation operators (hotels, motels, guests houses etc) and their relevant trade associations feel threatened by the growth of this segment
  4. Many tourism organisations have been slow to recognize and cooperate with holiday rental providers
  5. Statisticians have been slow to develop the definitions and to collect and count the data required to properly reflect the size and importance of the segment.
  6. Holiday rental is also under threat from local residents where holiday makers cause local disturbance due to inadequate standards, rules or enforcement or where they are perceived to deprive locals of permanent accommodation
  7. Government at national, state and local level are imposing increasing rates, taxes and charges on holiday rental owners and are responding to pressure from lobbyists to prohibit or restrict holiday rental at some destinations
  8. Service and utility providers often discriminate against holiday rental owners in fees, charges and conditions of supply.
  9. Standards, booking conditions and conduct of holiday rental owners varies widely and in some cases there are legitimate grounds for health, safety and consumer complaints
  10. There is some confusion and uncertainty about holiday rental in the regulatory framework including definitions, zoning, planning, licensing, rating, taxing, marketing and management provisions.

It is significant that all these other stakeholders in these issues are well organised whether through public institutions, trade associations, rate payers associations or lobby groups. Holiday rental owners are generally fragmented and disorganized which is not surprising given the recent emergence of the segment and the fact that owners at any one destination usually come from all over the country and beyond and rarely have the opportunity to meet or communicate. But the result of this missing link in the institutional framework is that in all these important issues the outcomes are increasingly adverse for holiday rental owners.

The recommendation is that in each country holiday rental owners form a national Holiday Rental Owners Association with all the objects of traditional trade associations and with an action plan to address these and other issues as they emerge. It is also recommended that national associations unite to form a world wide association which can share knowledge and take on these issues at the international level.

View Australian Holiday Rental Owners Association (AHROA) for further information on the research findings and the Australian initiative.


Research to be published on moving Australia's territorial baseline in Queensland to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef

Trudie Atherton has examined the legality of the existing territorial sea boundary in relation to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. She has also considered the existing institutional and regulatory framework and the policy issues involved.

Her conclusion is that the territorial sea baseline along the Queensland coast ought to be moved to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef and has made a series of recommendations on how this might be implemented.

The paper entitled Revisiting the maritime boundaries on the Great Barrier Reef, will be publishes in the next volume of the Maritime Studies Journal. Further information on these findings will be released after that.

This work is part of Trudie's wider studies on the subject Regulating Marine Tourism towards a Doctorate in Judicial Science at the University of Sydney.


Australian accommodation