Low fares dry up says tourism industry

The Australian tourism industry is concerned that air fares are rising in the wake of Ansett's demise, despite Qantas's assurances that it would not and is not doing so. The head of the Australian Hotels Association, Richard Mulcahy, says that he's sceptical of Qantas's claims that it isn't putting fares up. Rising fares will put added pressure on the tourism industry as it struggles to recover from the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the collapse of Ansett.

Mr Mulcahy says that discount fares seem to be becoming as “scarce as hens' teeth” and that he intends to urge the Federal Government to investigate the issue.

Infochoice research indicates that Internet discount fares have increased by up to 20 per cent in recent days on the Sydney-Perth and Brisbane-Perth routes. Neither route is serviced by Virgin Blue.