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Tourism Australia chief outlines strategy at ATE18

April 17, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Singer-songwriter-actor Jessica Mauboy, Aussie screen hunk Chris Hemsworth, celebrity chef Curtis Stone and crocodile wrangler Matt Wright – you can expect to see all of them in connection with Australian tourism in the coming year.

Outlining Australia’s tourism growth and strategies at ATE18 in Adelaide yesterday, Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan revealed upcoming trends –  along with figures on international performance supply which showed a 13% increase in hotel rooms since 2009, delivering 20,000 additional rooms.

Aviation notched up 26 million seats in 2017. Since 2009 airline capacity into both Melbourne and the Gold Coast has doubled. Capacity into Sydney is up 42%. Aviation capacity growth has risen 30% from China, 26% from Canada and 11% from Japan.

Aussie crocodile wrangler Matt Wright

O’Sullivan said the current tourism tagline “There’s nothing like Australia” was “working well” but Tourism Australia was always looking ahead. A review is understood to be in the wind.

A nostalgia component was evident in TV sitcoms and other media, O’Sullivan noted, indicating the desire of people to return to a simpler time. In that environment, the Dundee commercial had worked wonders, viewed by a billion people and producing a massive surge in bookings. Tourism Australia was now trialling Dundee on social media in China.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan delivers the good news at ATE18

Signature experiences were big on the tourism demand list, O’Sullivan said. People were time poor. Regional tourist dispersal was a priority for Australia; it was essential to get across the message that you could visit Australia several times. You didn’t need to do it all at once.

Jessica Mauboy

Despite the big rise in tourism from China, Europe was still important and was Australia’s third most valuable market, he said. Tourism Australia has offices in Frankfurt and London. Research conducted in the UK into the backpacker market indicated people wanted to get into the workforce at home and make money while in Germany, they wanted to get out and away from their fellow countrymen.

O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia was in the final year of a AUD 10 million grant from the government and was finalising its operating plan.

Asked by an overseas journalist to sum up Australians in one word (a tricky challenge) O’Sullivan thought for a moment and said: “Larrikins!”

Written by Peter Needham

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