Australian Government - TRA
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Forecast 2012 Issue 2

Forecast 2012, Issue 2 presents the most likely outcome for tourism activity in Australia given past trends, current information and the impact of policy and industry changes.

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Key Findings

The world economy has continued to struggle on a slow track since the release of the last forecast issue in April 2012. Unevenness in global economic activity remains. Growth in emerging economies such as China and India continues to occur at a faster rate than advanced economies. However, uncertainty about the sustainability of the economic growth remains as both economies have slowed down. There are encouraging signs that prospects for the US economy have improved, but concerns regarding the Euro zone debt crisis have led to significant market volatility and declines in business and consumer confidence. Reflecting the current uncertainty, economic growth forecasts have been revised downward for many economies worldwide for 2012 and 2013.

For Australia, the domestic economy remains solid compared with those of many developed countries across the world but unevenness in economic activity remains. The resources sector continues to grow while manufacturing and many service industries (including tourism) struggle due to the continued global uncertainty and a high exchange rate. Against this background, marginal changes have been made to the previous (April 2012) set of forecasts for inbound tourists and outbound departures in this updating round. However, forecasts for domestic tourism have been revised upward. Over the longer term, average annual growth for domestic visitor nights (0.8 per cent) now fall marginally below population growth, whereas previous forecasts (0.5 per cent) were almost half that of population growth.


Key messages

  • Total Domestic Tourism Expenditure (TDTE) and Total Inbound Tourism Expenditure (TITE) will grow at different speeds in the short term…
  • With strong growth in domestic day travel and resilience in overnight travel, total domestic tourism expenditure (which captures expenditure from each of these segments) is forecast to increase by 1.8 per cent to $70 billion in 2012–13, and by a further 1.2 per cent to $71 billion in 2013–14.
  • Total inbound tourism expenditure is expected to increase 2.8 per cent to $28 billion in 2012–13, and then by 4.0 per cent to $29 billion in 2013–14.
  • In the longer term, domestic expenditure is now expected to record average annual growth of 0.7 per cent to reach $74 billion by 2021–22. Inbound expenditure is forecast to grow at the faster average annual rate of 3.8 per cent, to reach $39 billion in 2021 22.
  • Total tourism expenditure is forecast to increase by 2.1 per cent to $97 billion in 2012 13, and then by a further 2.0 per cent to $99 billion in 2013–14.
  • In the longer term, total tourism expenditure is forecast to reach $112 billion in 2021–22 underpinned by average annual growth of 1.6 per cent.