State of the Industry 2012

State of the Industry 2012 assesses macroeconomic trends, relevant to tourism business performance, and provides an update on how Australia’s tourism industry is tracking against its performance indicators.

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Key Findings

Australia’s tourism industry performed well during 2011–12 with an 8.0 per cent growth in visitor expenditure over the previous year. Most of this growth was in the domestic market which demonstrated a substantial increase from its lows of just a few years ago. In relation to inbound tourism, strong performance from Asia, in particular China, more than offset falls from some of Australia’s more traditional markets in Europe to lead to a small overall increase in inbound tourism during 2011–12 over the previous year. The Asian century, and Australia’s geographical advantage present major opportunities for Australia.

However, stronger overseas competition for the international tourism dollar is clearly evident, with the very high levels of investment taking place in other parts of Asia, particularly in the North-East Asian region. The combination of a strong Australian economic performance, a high Australian dollar and a very competitive international aviation sector which is driving down the costs of overseas travel (package travel in particular) continues to underpin Australians’ decisions to travel overseas in record numbers. This ongoing ‘international competition’ is not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

For other areas of supply, the current challenging investment environment reinforces the industry’s need to substantially raise productivity, particularly to compete with its overseas competitors. Key challenges remain with the industry requiring a higher quality product (whether it is either new or refreshed) and a larger, highly-skilled workforce.

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