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Domestic visitor spend breaks $100 billion barrier

The full impact of current industry challenges is yet to be seen, says Austrade.

Australians’ desire to see the length and breadth of their own national borders has fuelled domestic overnight and day visitor spend to exceed $100 billion in a financial year for the first time ever, according to Austrade’s newly-released annual ‘State of the Industry’ report.

While bushfires hit nine of Australia’s major tourism regions and Coronavirus continues its global spread, the report omitted in-depth analysis of the impact of these events, with the full survey not expected to be available until the March 2020 International Visitor Survey is released in July.

Investment in the tourism sector continued to boom to the period ending 30 June 2019, reaching $45.3 billion, with employment climbing 3.3% to 666,000 via a 4.8% jump in new tourism businesses. The overall number of enterprises classified as being in a tourism-related industry closed at 302,520 for the financial year.

Coronavirus is impacting travel globally, with July expected to reveal the full picture.

Broken down further, the accommodation sector specifically has seen consolidation decreasing the number of hotel businesses, however this consolidation was leading to more actual hotels popping up, with businesses now aligning themselves with larger groups rather than competing individually. The growth of ride-share services also saw the taxi and road transport sector explode in popularity as sole traders put their cars to use as a revenue generator.

Notwithstanding current issues, the report outlined other challenges facing Australia which may hamper the country’s global competitiveness. As a long-haul destination, the lack of direct flights from long-haul markets continued to present cost as a potential barrier to growing markets in Europe and the US. Further hurdles include the high cost of living increasing the price of a visit – Australia is currently ranked 130 out of 137 in terms of price competitiveness.

Despite the global uncertainties, travel is making up a larger part of everyday life for Australians, with 5.8% of annual household expenditure now being used for holidays. This is up from 4.4% in September 2000.

To see the full report, CLICK HERE.

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