The new funding – worth up to AUD48.5million over the next four years – aims to generate greater visitation and economic returns from Australia’s fastest growing tourism region, expected to deliver AUD19 billion in annualised tourism spending by the end of the decade.
“This new fund provides an unprecedented opportunity to further drive existing and new marketing initiatives in our fastest growing and most valuable inbound visitor markets,” declared Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Andrew McEvoy.
The fund is in addition to Tourism Australia’s total annual marketing effort that sees Australia competitively positioned in 18 markets overseas, including fast-growth countries like China, India, Indonesia and South America as well as traditional markets such as the UK, Europe, and the Americas.
The first year’s funding of AUD8.5 million will be in addition to AUD37.5 million already allocated to Asia within Tourism Australia’s marketing budget for 2012/13.
The first year of the new Fund will focus on four strategic projects:
- Accelerating Tourism Australia’s existing China 2020 Geographic Strategy to target China’s secondary cities, to include emerging cities of Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing;
- Strengthening its ongoing efforts to rebuild the Japanese inbound market;
- Increased aviation cooperative partnerships between Tourism Australia and airlines serving Australia from Asia; and
- New Tourism Research Australia (TRA) research, designed to help the industry better understand and engage with Asia.
McEvoy said visitor numbers from Asia had tripled since 1990 while spending by Asian visitors in Australia had grown by 64% since 2000.
Tourism Research Australia (TRA) is also receiving funding to conduct a series of research projects, aimed at better understanding Asian visitor satisfaction with Australia as well as measuring the impact of fund investment. The TRA will use part of this funding to share research and insights with industry, including through its website.
In line with its ongoing commitment to market Australia with ‘one voice’, Tourism Australia will seek to partner with third parties, including State and Territory Governments and private tourism enterprises to maximise the impact of the Asia Marketing Fund.
Tourism bodies voiced support for the new initiative.
“This will mean greater promotion of the Australian brand and increased international arrivals, leading to further growth of Australia’s AUD96 billion tourism industry,” said TTF chief executive John Lee.
“For some time, Tourism Australia has been asked to do more with less as it has responded to opportunities presented by growing Asian economies. This new funding will allow Australia to maximise the visitor economy benefits of the Asian century while keeping our presence in traditional markets.”
Chief Executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia, Richard Munro, said the accommodation industry was looking forward to working with the Federal Government – including
Tourism Australia – to maximise benefits from projects funded by the Asia Marketing Fund.
“The four projects to be undertaken in the first year of the fund have the potential to translate to higher numbers of visitor nights and propel Australia one step closer to the objectives outlined in the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential.
“Our industry is excited about the strong tourism growth which is predicted from key Asian markets, such as China.”
Written by : Peter Needham