To that end, Tourism Australia, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) have joined forces in a new strategic partnership to promote investment opportunities across the Australian tourism industry to foreign and local investors.
At least one industry group welcomed the initiative as a means of financing much needed new hotel development.
The five-year partnership was formally announced yesterday at a launch event in the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, attended by the Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson.
In activating the partnership, Tourism Australia, Austrade and DRET unveiled several communication tools including for the first-time the Australian Tourism Investment Guide, which outlines up to 80 investment ready opportunities and proposed tourism projects, a marketing video and micro site www.tourisminvestment.com.au creating a single destination to assist tourism investment decision-making.
The guide is a major priority under Tourism 2020 – Australian tourism’s strategy for sustained, long term growth – and identifies tourism investment ready projects across all States and Territories. The investment ready list covers city-based and regional Australia projects, including:
- Perth Waterfront & Waterbank East Perth, Western Australia – five star hotel and mixed use development;
- Moonlight Head on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria – luxury lodges and hotel development;
- Pumphouse Lake St Clair at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – wilderness lodge;
- The Landing at Gosford, NSW – waterfront precinct and accommodation development;
- State capital CBD accommodation developments in Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin and Stromlo Forest Park Development, Mount Stromlo (ACT) (Full list available in the Guide or www.tourisminvestment.com.au)
Tourism Research Australia has released the inaugural Tourism Investment Monitor 2012 to provide investors with an overview of the tourism investment pipeline, applying further impetus to support future supply side activity and further grow tourism as Australia’s largest services export earner. The Monitor states AUD42 billion is within the investment pipeline placing it on track to accommodate expected demand.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, welcomed the partnership noting the collective approach would help to deliver enhanced outcomes for the Australian tourism industry and the wider economy, by demonstrating the case for new and greater levels of investment.
“We acknowledge that investment sourced both locally and internationally, is vital to growing the Australian tourism industry and achieving our industry’s goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to up to A$140 billion a year by 2020. This is the level of growth we need to bring new investment to life,” McEvoy said.
“As part of a recently expanded remit for Tourism Australia, we’re broadening our focus to play a greater role to help facilitate tourism investment opportunities and more strongly align demand and supply side activities.”
The industry group Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) said the initiative underlined the importance of investment in accommodation needed in Australia’s major capital cities.
“The joining together of Tourism Australia with Austrade to create this prospectus of hotel investment opportunities in Australia is to be commended. Tourism Australia knows the market and Austrade has the network of international investors,” said TTF Chief Executive John Lee.
“Aggressive targets have been set in Tourism 2020 for growing the visitor economy. These targets cannot expect to be met without additional accommodation particularly in our capital cities,” Lee said.
“Occupancy is already running above 80 per cent in Perth and Sydney, which effectively means hotels are full mid-week with limited breathing space,” he said.
“What the Australian Tourism Investment Guide does is showcase that Australia has some fantastic accommodation investment opportunities. As Australia re-orients itself towards Asia in this century, we would expect some of this investment to come from Asia. This in turn would promote Australian properties to Asian travel distribution markets,” Lee said.
Austrade CEO, Peter Grey, said that as a joint partner, Austrade endorsed this new whole of government initiative and looked forward to working with Tourism Australia.
“As Australia’s trade, investment and education promotion agency, one of our key responsibilities is to attract foreign investment and our international network will utilise these communication tools to showcase the investment opportunities across Australia’s tourism industry,” Grey said.
“In addition to Australia’s strong accommodation sector, Australia’s economic resilience during the global economic crisis, 20 years of uninterrupted growth to 2011 and close proximity to the Asia-Pacific region provide compelling reasons why Australia is an attractive investment destination.
“Austrade’s global network will be the first port of call for interested foreign investors, providing seamless access to information about all tourism investment opportunities across Australia. We will continue to work closely with State and Territory governments to provide tangible leads that, in the long term, bring tourism infrastructure opportunities to fruition,” Grey said.
McEvoy said the new ‘team Australia’ approach, involving the State and Territory Government investment and tourism agencies, sent out a powerful message to investors that Australian tourism was open and ready for investment – be they domestic based or from Western or Eastern markets.
“Combining our collective experience, skills and resources and speaking to the investment community with one, uniform voice is a significant step and one which I think will be warmly welcomed by investors here at home and overseas,” McEvoy said.
He added that while the investment attraction program would cover all forms of domestic and foreign investment, Asia would be a priority.
“Australia is within the strongest performing tourism region and largest global aviation market in the world. Our country is poised to take advantage of some of the exciting opportunities being created through the powerhouse economies of Asia, particularly in China, our fastest growing and highest international spending market,” McEvoy said.
Tourism plays a pivotal business role in the Australian economy and is the largest services export earner. Tourism consumption is now valued at AUD96 billion, which includes the accommodation sector achieving more robust performance, through rising international and business visitor nights and a growing domestic tourism sector.
Overall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Australia grew by 7.5 per cent to AUD473.7 billion in 2010, following inward FDI growth of 11.1 per cent in 2009 over 2008.
Edited by : Peter Needham