Implications of changing building codes for the tourism accommodation sector in Tasmania

  • YEAR
    Beall, Justin
    Bromberek, Zbigniew
    2004 Conference Papers
    Social and political issues in architecture


ABSTRACT: Tourism accommodation is an important industry throughout regional Australia,
particularly in Tasmania. The 3 and 4 star sector of the accommodation industry represents 414,000
beds out of a total of 565,000 beds; they have the largest total income but have average room returns
as low as $43 per night. These low returns and a culture of cosmetic renewal rather than renovation,
has led to regional motels falling behind in visitor satisfaction. This has regional ramifications since
poor visitor experiences can lead to entire regions losing favour as destinations. More importantly, from
this papers perspective, motels are not meeting consumer expectations in terms of safety and amenity
as expressed by the contemporary Building Code of Australia. This paper examines the cost that would
be placed on the industry if they were required to meet contemporary building codes due to renovation,
change of use or retrospective legislation. Over one hundred 3-4 star motels in Tasmanian where
assessed using a number of data sources; 20 where examined in detail using historical building
application data. They where assessed for construction type, layouts, materials and typology. The
results show that large percentages of motels would require additional acoustic, fire detection and
egress works. Up to 30-70% of a typical renovation budget for property could go to just in meeting the
current building codes rather than improving visitor satisfaction levels. The paper concludes by
discussing areas for future investigation to avoid potential disincentives of motel renovation.


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