By Vered Raviv-Schwarz, President & COO of Guesty
Australia’s established tourism sector is a bellwether for the global travel industry that we can all learn from. Its geographical location provides a head start to summer, while the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is in the grip of winter.
Australia’s accommodation inventory is diverse and spans urban rentals, resorts, hotels, vacation villas, and glamping experiences from coast-to-coast. As a result, its booking patterns and economic trends mirror those of the United States and United Kingdom, providing a comparison model for the rest of the world to learn from. As we prepare for a challenging and exciting 2023, Australian-based travel companies are in a prime position to lead the global trends in innovation and expansion, using its local audience as an incubator for marketing testing, product development and audience feedback.
Throughout 2022, the Australian travel sector continued to feel the impact of Covid restrictions, however, bookings indicate that 2023 is on a trajectory to rebound to pre-Covid levels. The calendar year closed with short-term rentals generating $1.15 billion in revenue. Guesty’s own data confirms the popularity of short-term accommodation, with our Australian customers reporting 41% growth in their 2022 booking volume, compared to 2019. Additionally, the Australian government recently committed a $48 Million AUD tourism budget to promote recovery.
There’s a great deal we can learn from Australia’s strong economy, international outlook, and developed tourism sector, especially in terms of predicting consumer behaviour in the northern hemisphere, and especially when it comes to planning for upcoming seasons. Global hospitality groups with properties in Australia, from Hilton to Marriott, are able to test new innovations, plan promotions, expand new accommodation offerings and adjust to market trends and shifts before they happen in some of their larger markets.
As we enter 2023 amidst global inflation and recession concerns, we still see consumers in Australia and around the globe prioritising travel as a justified spend. When international escapes become price restrictive, travellers choose to vacation domestically and within close proximity to large urban centres. In parallel, we see individual hosts stepping up to meet the travel demand and renting out spare rooms and listings to create additional revenue streams. Airbnb’s recent reporting indicates a 30% growth of new hosts in Australia in Q2 2022 (year-over-year) mirroring upward trajectories in the United States (50% growth) and United Kingdom (40% growth).
For Guesty, Australia has always been one of our top markets, trailing only behind the US and UK. As a result of Australia’s first leader advantage in the global travel sector, our Australian customers are often the first to have access to our new products and solutions. When innovating new offerings like Accounting by Guesty, we looked to Australia’s compliance requirements to ideate our offering. As one of the most advanced and regulated markets for trust-based accounting, we designed the technology to solve the toughest challenges.. We plan to double down on our local investment in 2023, building off our recent acquisition of Queensland-based HiRUM, a household name in property management software and trust-based accounting solutions tailored to local regulation. With Australia’s strong travel sector combined with our customer and R&D teams, we plan to pioneer and power the next generation of travel technology together.