The pace of rejuvenation and increasing appeal to international markets must pick up if Australian tourism is to make up for the huge loss of the domestic market to overseas competitors.
The call to action comes from industry stalwart, Tony Charters, who, along with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), will co-convene a national tourism summit in Melbourne next week – the Tourism and Events Excellence (TEE) conference, 16 & 17 July at the MCG in Melbourne.
“Almost one in two Australians intends taking an overseas holiday in the next 12 months, and our tourism industry risks being becalmed if international visitors don’t fill that void,” said Mr Charters.
Roy Morgan Research consumer survey taken in the lead up to the TEE conference reveals these intentions.
It also measures almost nine out of 10 Australians intend to take a holiday in the next 12 months, indicating economic concerns are not responsible for stunting Australian’s interest in holidaying at home.
“This is a trend we have seen emerge in recent years and we believe it will only gather pace,” said Mr Charters.
“As Australians become more experienced and savvy as international travellers, their appetite for exotic travel will increase.
“Along with the emerging giants of China, India and The Gulf, near neighbours like Indonesia, Korea and Malaysia are critical to Australia’s tourism future given their growing middle classes.
“Australia is not a cheap destination, so the move to focus on Australia’s unique natural and cultural heritage, and attractive lifestyle and climate is sensible.”
But big questions remain said Mr Charters.
“Can the industry rise to the challenge of adapting to these markets?
“How will destinations deal with the need for staff and guides with language skills from these new source markets? Can the industry effectively gain marketing access to higher-end international travellers?
“Will governments support the structural readjustment required by the industry to adapt to this seismic shift?”
Government policy-makers and industry leaders will attend the TEE conference at the MCG in Melbourne next week.
Full details of the conference are available at www.teeconference.com
Background – About VTIC
The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak policy council for the Victorian tourism industry, which represents key industry associations, operators and government agencies, providing one united industry voice.
Melina Walton, Senior Communications Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 8662 5310, 0423 883 945
Background – About Tony Charters
Tony Charters & Associates operates globally and advises on tourism policy, planning and development. It has taken an active role in industry advocacy and extension through highly applied conferences and workshops.
Tony Charters, Co-convenor, 0418 122 025
Michelle Farquhar, Media & Communications, 0432 334 994