Australian tourism has reached stellar heights with a record $32.5 billion in international spend, a growth of 10% year on year, positioning tourism as one of Australia’s leading exports.ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley, today congratulated Australia’s tourism industry on this outstanding achievement, a testament to the hard work of the export tourism sector in building an attractive product for the international marketplace.
“Across the board, from the USA to India, Malaysia and China, we are seeing double digit success in a wide number of markets, all of which are showing signs of further upward growth,” Mr Shelley said.
“It’s clear Australia’s tourism sector is continuing to grow, competing strongly and engaging across a broad range of new and traditional markets, including driving a 14% growth in spend from the US
year on year.
The International Visitor Survey, released today, shows Chinese visitor spend grew by 25% in the past 12 months to reach $6.4 billion, almost half of which was spent during the March quarter. This is a direct impact of the spike in visitors during Lunar New Year celebrations.
“The industry has performed well over the past five years, building the eighth largest international tourism industry by spend in the world, and the current drop in exchange rates helps to bolster this success even further.
“Few Australian industries have enjoyed this level of growth. Only yesterday it was reported that the chief economist of Barclays Bank believes tourism can overtake iron ore as Australia’s No.1 export earner and we are seeing proof of this claim today.”
Mr Shelley said the figures showed the importance of hosting international events with March quarter figures highlighting the increase in visitors during the Asian Cup and the Cricket World Cup.
“Australia is fast becoming a popular destination for Chinese visitors during the Lunar New Year period which is evidenced by the remarkable 32% year on year growth in spend for this market in the March quarter.
“International visitors love Australia and what we have to offer – our natural environment and heritage, our great food and wine and the unique travel experiences that we provide.
“Our committed tourism businesses should take credit for this excellent growth. They have worked hard to build a high quality product range that competes strongly in the international marketplace and this has set Australia on a path to tourism export success.”
“Whilst these are certainly positive outcomes, this is not a time for complacency given we are competing against the well resourced marketing budgets of alternative travel destinations.
“For Australia to maintain this growth we need to continue a strong industry/government partnership to ensure all policy settings are focused towards maximising the industry’s opportunity to build on the $32.5 billion result we have seen today.”