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Tourism growth almost twice that of economy, report finds

Australia’s tourism industry is growing much faster than the national economy and will continue to be a major driver of our economic success, new government data shows.

The Forecasts 2019 Report released this week by Tourism Research Australia highlights the significant contribution made by tourism to national prosperity and the importance of accommodation investment in underpinning that growth.

It finds tourism has grown at a much faster rate (5 percent) than the overall economy (2.8 percent) in GDP terms, with long-term forecasts showing the global trend to travel and a lower Australian dollar will see the industry’s export income more than double to $94.9 billion over the next decade.

The research focuses on main international markets and their reasons for travel, visitor nights and spend for international and domestic travellers across each state and territory, and outbound travel by Australian residents.

While domestic travel spend is tipped to increase only marginally, total tourism spend is expected to grow by a healthy 4.6 percent to $155.6 billion in 2019−20, and again by 4.9 percent to $163.1 billion in 2020–21. Those trends are expected to persist over the longer term, with a ten-year average growth forecast of 4.7 percent.

Over the next two years, international visitor arrivals are expected to grow 9.7 percent to top ten million, almost half from our strongest five markets of China, New Zealand, the US, UK and Japan but also from emerging markets such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We are in a period of significant global change and if we are to achieve the international visitor growth forecasts it will be vital that government continue to invest in driving demand, and in infrastructure that supports the visitor economy,” said Accommodation Association of Australia CEO Dean Long.

“With over 50,000 rooms in the pipeline, the majority in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the sector is well placed to support visitor growth..

“Importantly, this supply supports investment in jobs with 86,000 currently employed directly and more than double that in industries that supply the sector.

“There is no doubt that the tourism industry is an important economic driver. Sustainable investment in accommodation supply will continue to be critical in underpinning that growth”.

Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Peter Shelley said the long-term view was of a growth industry which will continue to contribute strongly to Australia’s economic advancement and provide an increasing number of jobs – as long as it is managed properly.

 “In the next ten years we will see international tourism spend growing its share of the visitor dollar – with 40 percent of tourism spending coming from international travellers by 2028-29. This is an injection of foreign money delivered directly into the Australian economy,” he said.

 “While tourism enjoys an ever-expanding opportunity for growth, what is important is that our industry has the ability to make positive and significant contributions to Australian society – economically, socially and environmentally.

“Currently one in every 13 jobs in Australia is in the tourism industry and if managed well, with foresight, good government planning, industry engagement and sustainably – the tourism industry will continue to be a powerful economic driver and bring enormous benefit to Australia.”

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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One Comment

  1. “With over 50,000 rooms in the pipeline, the majority in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the sector is well placed to support visitor growth.. ” This doesn’t include the huge growth in short term rentals, namely Airbnbs. I am being offered over $600 AUD by Airbnb to refer new hosts. Oh there’s plenty of accommodation already for the demand. Ask any property manager in Sydney. A few years back you could charge what you wanted for NYE in Sydney. These days it’s a race to the bottom and the property could be empty.

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