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Tourism Australia shifts short-term focus to domestic

Surfers Paradise will once again be awash with tourists once safe to do so.

Australia’s domestic tourism recovery will be led in the short to potentially-medium term by domestic visitation, with Tourism Australia set to alter its focus to play a key role in driving the rebuild.

The organisation, which traditionally has applied its knowledge and expertise in promoting Australia to international markets, will revamp its strategies and campaigns to launch new, inward marketing campaigns with messaging encouraging Aussies to get out and see their own country. Activity is expected to start small and ramp up as states and territories begin to assess and implement strategies to loosen border restrictions.

Domestic travel currently makes up about two-thirds of the visitor economy, with Aussies spending more than $80 billion on overnight trips in 2019 and another $70 billion coming into the economy via day trips from both Australian and international guests.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Philippa Harrison, said the industry’s restart will be bumpy and recovery will be gradual with domestic leading the way, but that the job won’t be complete until international visitors can return with full freedom.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison.

“Our focus will start with domestic travel, where we’ll be strongly encouraging Australians to holiday at home before welcoming visitors from our key international markets.

“Whilst domestic tourism alone certainly can’t fill the vacuum of lost international business, more Australians travelling domestically has the potential to deliver much needed revenue to our industry,” Harrison said.

The TA boss said a return to international marketing will come but will be a little farther down the track as more information is released on just how border restrictions will be lifted.

“We just don’t know when international restrictions will start to be lifted, nor how the process of restoring international travel will play out. But we will be ready to go back and go back at scale when the time is right,” Harrison added.

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