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TTF: Tourism performance at highest level

Sydney Harbour

Indian tourists on Sydney Harbour. Photo: Destination NSW

Australia’s tourism operators have rated the sector’s performance in the December quarter at the highest level since the inception of the TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey, with the easing dollar and growing domestic and international visitation fuelling confidence.

This latest edition of TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey is being launched as Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) members gather at Parliament House in Canberra today (Mar 19) for Leadership 2014, TTF’s dialogue with the federal government and opposition on key issues facing the tourism, transport and aviation sectors.

TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the survey paints a positive picture for tourism.

“Respondents rated the tourism industry’s performance in the December quarter at record levels, with the international performance index at 139 and domestic performance at 125, both well above the average for this time of year and the highest since the survey’s inception,” Morrison said.

“The TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey backs up recent tourism data showing that international visitation continues to rise and that domestic overnight visitors are spending $1 billion a week around the country.

“We are also seeing positive sentiment about key business indicators including forward bookings, sales and profitability which bode well for the industry’s future.

“As we meet with key ministers in Canberra today, the survey also reveals near-unanimous support for tourism’s capacity to be an economic development strategy for Australia.

“Tourism has been identified as one of five super-growth sectors capable of contributing an additional $250 billion to the national economy over the next 20 years, given Australia’s competitive advantages in this area.

“As the mining investment boom wanes and the Australian economy continues to change, the government will be looking to other sectors to provide job and business opportunities into the future.

“One respondent noted that: ‘Tourism is a natural replacement for the shrinking manufacturing industry and has the opportunity to create jobs in a sustainable way’.

“The easing dollar is also proving a boon for the sector, with concern about the exchange rate falling to its lowest level in three years and a rise in ‘upside concerns’ including destination reputation and inadequate room supply.”

Morrison said the survey also sought opinion on key issues that will be addressed at the conference, including the potential of the Indian market.

“Visa reform is seen as the top priority to help grow visitation from India, with tourism marketing and air access the next most critical issues,” he said.

“More broadly, visa reform is also seen as a key issue by the industry, especially moving to online processes in a range of languages, along with the cost of applications and the provision of multi-year visitor visas.”

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