Australia’s Tourism, Second Quarter 2014

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As a player in the tourist industry, you may be interested to know how Australia’s state of tourism has been for the second quarter this year. 

Currently, Australia’s political environment has been stable and the economy has been strong, both of which supports growth in tourism. As a result, market forecasters expect to see significant improvements in a certain number of key market areas such as numbers of foreign tourists visiting Australia, Australians travelling, travel expenditure and the overall value of Australia’s tourism industry. 

Forecasters expect the number of people visiting Australia to increase by up to 12 per cent per year, eventually leading to annual arrival figures of 9.3 million in 2018. Australia is currently in a good position economically (relative to the rest of the world). However, our economic performance is becoming a deterrence to international tourists, as tourism in Australia becoming increasingly more expensive. This could persuade some foreign travellers to opt to more affordable destinations such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Recent Developments in Australia’s Tourism Market Include:

Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane airports have expansions underway, which will support long-term market growth.

Outbound travel is expected to show slow but gradual growth. By 2018, forecasters expect outbound travel to reach 16 million, which is an improvement on previous forecasts.

After a decline in growth in 2011, inbound travel is expected to recover and increase to 9.3 million by 2018.

Key 2014 events include the Sydney International Food Festival, the Melbourne Cup Carnival and a range of sporting events (such as The Australian Open), all of which are likely to attract large numbers of visitors.

Current Tourism Strengths

The tourism industry is supported by well-developed accommodation and transport infrastructure, with good air, rail and road transport links across the country. Thus, Australia is in a good position to support tourism growth.

Domestic and international airlines continue to expand their travel routes, which offers more travel options for potential tourists, particularly from the Asia Pacific region. This can potentially lower the cost of travel to Australia and consequently attract more visitors.

Current Weaknesses

The Australian dollar is getting stronger, which could discourage international tourists from travelling to Australian, and it could have a negative impact on the competitiveness of Australia’s tourism industry.

The Australian dollar’s strength could also impact on the potential for investment due to high development costs, particularly for foreign investors. 

The domestic tourism market has limited scope for expansion because of Australia’s small population and large geographical area.


Australia is in a good position to take advantage of expanding source markets in the Asia Pacific region, particularly China and India.

The development of global tourism campaigns could boost numbers of international tourists from new source markets. 

Some regions which lie outside the traditionally popular destinations such as Sydney and the Gold Coast offer potential for development such as Perth and the North West.

Threats to the Tourist Market

The recent political tensions between Australia and China could deter Chinese tourists and thus threaten the growth of one of Australia’s fastest growing source markets.

Environmental policies which address climate change could increase airline taxes.

The increasing costs to tourists could see tourists from the Asia Pacific region choose more affordable options such as Thailand and Vietnam.

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