Thursday, June 20, 2024

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HomeIssue 44Price gouging could threaten future of Masters Games, says Cr Melky

Price gouging could threaten future of Masters Games, says Cr Melky

Councillor Eli Melky has criticised the local commercial accommodation industry for raising its tariffs to double and triple the normal rates during the Masters Games. Speaking at last night’s council meeting, he said such a practice threatens the sustainability of the games.
He referred to hearing a local hotelier complaining about Qantas “price-gouging” on its flights to Alice Springs. He said this is no different to what happens with commercial accommodation during the Games.
Cr Liz Martin endorsed his comments, saying that the price hikes occur  not only during the Masters Games but during other major events. Cr Martin is the key organiser of major trucking events regularly held in Alice Springs.
Mayor Damien Ryan urged councillors to nominate for the executive committee for the Masters Games, the implication being they could tackle the issue from there. It was not clear what Cr Melky wanted council to do about the issue.
The Alice Springs News Online asked him after the meeting to name businesses that had price gouged. He declined to at this stage. But said he had heard numerous complaints from Games particpants, with people comparing what they were paying to what they would have paid for the same accommodation the week before or the week after.
The News has sought comment from Tourism Central Australia. We will post it when and if it comes to hand.


  1. Typical Alice Springs greed Eli and thank you for bringing this to the attention of the nation. You are lucky in some ways to live in a place where families can enjoy beautiful hot weather, a new pool which offers twice the facilities of many others at half the cost. Troo.
    D. R. Chewings aka THE lone dingo

  2. I agree with Eli, and can proudly stand up and say our business offered all of our accommodation at the same price it is all year. But certianly the practice is widespread as Eli has outlined.

  3. Eli, come on … the sustainability of the Masters Games is in the hands of the board who are entrusted to promote and roll it out. The Games are tired as are most of our “iconic” events with the glowing exception of the Tattersalls Finke Desert Race. If it were not for the volunteers of Alice Springs all of these events would surely lose the goodwill we have built up over the years. The integrity of the Games is threatened more by the lack of drive rather than the cost of accommodation. To suggest that price gouging in commercial accommodation is no different to what Qantas are doing is absurd. Qantas have an absolute monopoly on air travel when it comes to servicing Central Australia. I do not think there is a cartel of hotel owners and accommodation providers colluding to increase rates for major events in Alice Springs. Prices reflect the market conditions of the day and competition ensures the true market value. With Qantas you don’t get this.
    Tourism Central Australia should take a leadership role in overseeing all of our major events and that will not be achieved through cocktail party diplomacy. TCA should have the clout and energy to engage our vital hospitality industry in worthwhile dialogue. The pulse rate of tourism throughout the Territory is about to be accelerated.


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