In recent years, the Australian tourism industry has struggled a lot to convince tourists to travel at home. Though domestic travel numbers have touched record highs, Australians are still more focused on overseas travel. Recently, Tourism Research Australia released the latest domestic visitor survey.
According to the report, domestic travel spending touched a record high of $53.3 billion (in the financial year ending June 30). The 4% growth was possible because travelers spent huge amounts on visiting relatives and friends rather than taking real holidays. On the other hand, international spending increased by 7% to over $30 billion.
According to Tim Quinn, Strategic Research Manager, Tourism Research Australia, the combined figure of more than $80 billion was an excellent result for Australia’s tourism industry. The industry experts presume the spending to go up to $115-$140 billion by 2020.
Tim Quinn believes that there’s a need to focus on lost opportunities. It is important to understand that the domestic tourism sector is the bread and butter of the industry but Australians have preferred overseas holidays.
Although domestic holiday trips last year rose by 2%, there was a decrease in the number of nights by 2%. This led to flat spending and lower than expected revenues. On the other hand, overseas travel rose to 5.4 million last year. This was an 8% increase.
This was a major increase in the number of trips people took a few years ago. Moreover, this growth was also from a smaller customer base. The results for overseas travel seem much better than domestic trips.
The Australian dollar has been stable for a long time. This has been the primary reason for the growth in overseas holidays. However, it is expected to come down, and switch toward the increasing demand of domestic holiday travel.
However, travel agents and big corporations like Flight Center Travel don’t see the demand for overseas trips falling anywhere in the near future. The reason is that international airfares have hit record low levels.