ManagementOpinionTourism

A month of peaks and troughs…

The last month has been full of peaks and troughs when it comes to tourism announcements.

Coming off the back of a high from seeing Queensland’s tourism industry come together with the Courier Mail to promote the importance of the tourism sector with the Future Tourism campaign.

To Tourism and Events Queensland’s recent campaign with Uber to introduce ScUber taking the world by storm.

The campaign reach included:

  • 3921 news articles globally
  • Potential reach of 3.35 billion people
  • Publicity value of $121 million
  • More than 152,000 entries in the competition to come and experience scUber

Goodness we have even seen our very first ScUber proposal!

Australia’s accommodation sector is currently seeing its biggest transformation since the Sydney Olympics.

Then there were record-breaking crowds at Vivid and the launch of Visit Victoria’s winter campaign which was developed with input from industry and market research to encourage travellers to find “Your Happy Space” in regional Victoria.

And the benefits of this type of campaign are reflected in the TRA’s IVS statistics heralding regional Victoria as the best performer in international visitation growth compared to all other states – more than tripling the regional national average with a whopping 12 percent increase since last quarter.

There has been some good industry news but then………… we suffer a major blow when the NSW tourism sector cops a $35 million cut to destination marketing funding and the SA government follows suit leaving the state with less funding than previous years.

Sometimes it feels like we don’t know whether we are coming or going.

IVS stats released for March 2019 clearly show that when a state fails to invest or cuts back on their tourism spend the visitor market declines.

And this is not time to be cutting back on marketing our beautiful states to the world with an obvious softening in some of the states’ markets and competition between states is fierce.

NSW can’t afford to become complacent and its main competitors VIC and QLD have recognised that in either maintaining or increasing their investment in the tourism industry.

And across in South Australia international visitor numbers, bed nights and spend have continued to decrease, which is a clear reflection of tourism budget cuts taking place two years in a row.

The tourism industry is one of the most significant service industries delivering jobs for Australia. We know that every dollar invested into tourism promotion delivers a return of approximately $16.

A recent survey conducted by TTF and Nielsen showed that Aussies see tourism as the most important industry when it comes to future jobs.

78 percent also believe tourists visiting our shores means more jobs here and a stronger economy.

31 percent see tourism as the leader when it comes to future jobs and 65 percent believe the government should be taking the industry more seriously.

So, if every day Australians can see the importance of tourism to the country’s economy, it is difficult to understand why some of our state governments do not?

You must spend money to make money and we all need to come together and get on the same page which means supporting the industry.

This quarters IVS figures are proof we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.

So, when it comes to investing in tourism as an industry we need to ask, are we coming or going?

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Margy Osmond

Margy Osmond is CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia

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