Tourism Australia Shares its 2017 Success Story with the Travel Industry
A highlight of the Australian travel industry calendar is the annual Tourism Australia industry briefings which are held in all major Australian cities. I attended the Sydney briefing on 09 November along with over 300 other travel industry professionals. Over the past few years I’ve come away from the briefing impressed with the incredible achievements of Tourism Australia. This year was no exception.
Tourism Australia CEO, John O’Sullivan outlined the overall strategy of Tourism Australia. China has continued to be the dominant growth source market for Australia, In the year to 30 June 2017, 1.25 million Chinese visited Australia spending just under AUD$10 billion. The Chinese accounted for almost a quarter of the $40.6 billion spent by international visitors to Australia. However, O Sullivan pointed out that many other source markets were showing significant arrivals growth greater than 10% year on year including the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
Overall annual growth of tourism arrivals to Australia to the end of June 2017 was 9% and expenditure grew by 7%. Australia was still performing well above world standards in relation to arrivals growth, tourism expenditure and length of stay. Domestic tourism was also on the rise. O’Sullivan stated that a significant factor assisting growth has been the growth of direct flights from many of Australia’s key source markets to Australia’s gateway cities. This has been especially prevalent in China in which direct flights to Australia now operate from over 15 Chinese cities.
Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Ronson spoke of the success of Tourism Australia’s ongoing marketing campaigns which have focused on foods and wine, coastal and aquatic and nature experiences. Niche campaigns focusing on golf, fishing, indigenous experiences have all been successful in attracting visitation. The current focus is an intensive campaign to attract young working holiday travelers who spend a lot of time in Australia, visit rural and regional Australia and have a high propensity to return and recommend. Many of these travellers contribute to the success of the tourism industry in regional Australia.
Ms Ronson and Phillipa Harrison (General Manager International) pointed out that there has been a shift to increasing employment of social media in the media marketing destination Australia. This is important for all age groups but especially for younger travelers. Tourism Australia is actively building the number of travel agents and tour operators all over the world who are registered and trained as Aussie Experts.
Dominic Mehling, Industry Relations Manager highlighted the many tools and services Tourism Australia could provide travel professionals to market and promote their Australian travel product to a global audience in association with Tourism Australia and state tourism boards.
A feature of all Tourism Australia briefings was the involvement of the state tourism boards. In Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination NSW spoke of the success NSW has enjoyed during 2017. The opening of Sydney’s International Convention Centre in late 2016 has been a boon to the meetings and events sector. She also highlighted growth in New South Wales regional tourism through the co-funding scheme between regional tourism organisations and Destination NSW. She also focused on the 10th anniversary of the Vivid Festival in Sydney which has enlivened winter tourism to Sydney.
To access the Industry briefings CLICK HERE