Tourism data shows signs of recovery

Mon 22 Mar 

Tourism data shows signs of recovery

Australians are travelling again as the immediate effects of the global financial crisis appear to be receding, but the tourism industry says its major challenge is to make sure the buck stops here.

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) says fresh data for the December quarter of 2009 shows visitor nights steady compared to the same period the year before.

TTF executive director Brett Gale says Aussies are travelling again after cutting back trips because of the financial crunch.

"Initially the GFC curbed travel demand, and then as it became clear that our economy was still relatively strong, the dollar soared and Australians headed overseas in record numbers," Mr Gale said.

"This hurt domestic tourism, so today's figures give us some optimism for the future after eight quarters of declining domestic tourism demand."

Mr Gale also warned that as the domestic dollar was still strong, more had to be done to encourage Australians to holiday at home instead of heading overseas.

"That's done by improving our product here so Australians want to holiday here, and at the same time that encourages foreigners to come, so that's what we have to be aiming for," he said. "We have to have more product which meets the needs of an ever-changing market, so that the buck stops in Australia."

In the short term, marketing was needed in countries where the recovery from the GFC was well under way.

"We can make sure we're marketing in new and average-spend markets and rev up the marketing in places like China and India," Mr Gale said. "But to maintain that in the long-term we have to ensure we've got product that people from those countries want to see and experiences they want to be involved in and ... have the right sort of product that doesn't tie us to the one market for too long."


Editors comments: Just point them in our direction, we have plenty of the right product to give both domestic and overseas visitors a holiday experience unlike anything they've had before or like anything else available.