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Record investment in Australia’s future tourism prospects

November 1, 2013 Destination Global, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Tourism Australia will invest AUD 200 million this year marketing Australia to the world – through expanding partnerships with the states and territories, industry and international airlines.

That’s what tourism industry leaders heard at the  peak annual Australian Tourism Directions Conference in Canberra earlier this week.

Tourism Australia managing director and keynote speaker Andrew McEvoy said the record investment came on the back of strong international and domestic tourism growth, increased aviation capacity and renewed investment in Australia’s tourism infrastructure.

“Australian tourism is performing well and remains a key driver of economic growth and employment. Despite ever increasing global competition and the high dollar we’ve enjoyed a record 6.3 million international arrivals in 2013 and a sustained bounce back in domestic travel, with Australians taking 250x250around nine times more trips in their own country than overseas,” he said.

A key highlight of the Directions conference was the release by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) of its latest ‘State of Industry Report’, showing that the industry’s performance improved during 2012-13 on most indicators.

Domestic overnight expenditure increased 3.4% to over AUD 51 billion while international visitor expenditure continued to grow, up 5.9% to over AUD 28 billion. Combined, growth in overnight visitor expenditure in 2012-13 shows the industry is tracking at the lower end of the Tourism 2020 range, currently at AUD 80 billion.

“Our vision under Tourism 2020 is to grow overnight spend in Australian tourism to between AUD 115 billion and AUD 140 billion by 2020. Thanks to large part to a resurgence in domestic tourism and the increasing popularity of our country amongst Asia’s emerged and emerging middle classes, we remain on track to achieve this goal,” McEvoy said.

“Despite the tyranny of distance, time and cost, Australia remains one of the world’s most desirable destinations – people are visiting in good numbers and spending well when here, enjoying the wonderful attractions our country has to offer its visitors.

“Tourism Australia is working strategically to increase visitor spending by targeting those international markets we believe will drive future growth. We see great opportunity from the fast growing Asian markets in particular, which could be worth more than AUD 20 billion by 2020.

“Our success in international marketing and industry development continues to be built upon strong and effective industry partnerships, typified by our recent ‘Best Jobs in the World’ campaign. And you’ll see this approach taken up a notch in 2014 when we roll out our new international food and wine campaign in 2014,” McEvoy added.

McEvoy said that Australia’s appeal extended beyond just visitors and that smart investors were also now queuing up to grab a stake in the industry’s positive future prospects.

“Better tourism infrastructure is vital to growing our industry and the good news is that the investment community share our view that there is value and commercial gain from backing Australian tourism,” he said.

Tourism Australia signed a five year partnership with and Austrade in May 2012 to make tourism a new investment priority. This coincided with the launch of a new Tourism Investment Guide, outlining up to 80 investment-ready or proposed tourism investment or infrastructure projects nationally, as agreed by Federal and State Government.

McEvoy said the partnership approach, working closely with the States and Territories, was starting to bear fruit, most recently the decision by NSW Government to set aside Sydney’s landmark Sandstone Buildings in the CBD for tourism purposes when they are marketed to local and international investors later this year.

Other recently announced tourism investment projects include AUD 160 million plans by Singaporean investor M&L Hospitality to build an extra 231 new rooms at the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney at Darling Harbour, as well as plans by the Hong Kong-based Chang Yuang Group to invest AUD 10 million in new holiday villas and eco-tourism facilities at their newly purchased Double Island Boutique Resort in Palm Cove, near Cairns.

Australian tourism’s peak annual conference included presentations from leading international and Australian speakers: Ian Harper, leading economist and Professor Emeritus at Melbourne Business School; Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum; Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer Accor Pacific; and Graham Turner, Managing Director, Flight Centre Travel Group.

Tourism Directions seeks to highlight the opportunities and challenges of Australia’s AUD 107 billion visitor economy.

Tourism Research Australia also released a suite of new resources aimed at assisting Australian tourism operators to engage with Asia. Developed in consultation with Tourism Australia and the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), and funded through the Government’s Asia Marketing Fund, the resources provide tourism SMEs with information about key Asian markets, distribution channels, cultural awareness, and how to develop and action their Asia strategies.

Tourism is Australia’s largest services export earner and generates AUD 96 billion in annual spending within the Australian economy, supporting almost one million jobs.

Edited by : William Sykes

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. I would like to know where the increased numbers in the tourist industry are going because I have had my worst year in 12 years. I am not alone. All other operators I have spoken to in South Australia say it has been their worst year during their operations as well. One operator has stated that it is his worst year in 29 years.
    There have been many press releases throughout the year stating these increases but we are certainly not seeing it here in SA. They need to get out of the cities and away from the coast into regional Australia and see how tough some of those businesses are doing.
    I did catch an interview on the ABC with Andrew McEvoy prior to the conference and he did say that regional tourism has been down. In SA self drivers have been good but people taking guided tours has been, by all accounts at an all time low. Where ever you travel in regional SA they all say the bus groups are low having received many cancellations throughout the year.
    I think a lot of this especially in SA has been due to budget cuts in reducing some of the services offered by TourismSA. One is essetially closing their information centre, reducing call centre facilities and not offering a booking service. Also leasing out the information centre facilities which was a failure and then taking it back at a very reduced service facility.
    What Tourism Australia and state tourism need to do is put more effort into promoting regional tourism. Not all attractions are in or near the cities or on the East Coast. Australia is a big country and I know there are big distances to travel between locations but to someone who has never been out there those big wide open spaces are part of the experience.
    So Tourism bodies across Australia get yourselves away from the cities and the coast and get out there. It’s a big beautiful country just waiting to be explored not just international but domestic travellers as well.

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