The Tourism Forecasting Committee (TFC) has released its new forecast for tourism activity in Australia.
Following a 4% decrease last year, the value of tourism to the Australian economy is expected to improve, rising 3% this year to $92 billion.
According to the TFC forecast, both international (up 2%) and domestic (up 3%) segments are expected to grow in value.
International travel to Australia is forecast to increase 5.5% (or 308,000 to 5.9 million visits), following the solid 3.5% growth in the year-to-date (January-April).
Further growth in international aviation capacity for Australia will be encouraged through the country’s robust economic performance and the increasing inclination for Australians to travel overseas.
Arrivals from all major inbound markets are likely to increase this year, with most growth seen from the US (up 9% or 42,000), China (up 9% or 34,000) and New Zealand (up 3% or 30,000).
The markets showing the strongest growth this year in percentage terms are the Middle East (up 20%) and Indonesia (up 19%).
The Chair of the TFC, Mr Bernard Salt said, “Tourism will clearly benefit from the stronger economic backdrop this year compared with the terrible conditions last year.
“The recent fall in the dollar will also make international leisure travel to Australia cheaper, while the global economic recovery should boost business travel.”
The TFC reported that recent concerns over Australia’s international education segment have not yet impacted education visitor numbers.
While we have seen a decline from some markets, notably the United States and India, overall education visitors to Australia have risen 7% in the year to date, fuelled by strong growth from China.
The domestic tourism sector is also likely to record improvements, with domestic visitor nights in Australia predicted to rise 1.5% this year, after sharp falls in recent years.
Mr Salt said, “A weaker Australian dollar combined with growth in jobs and discretionary spending will benefit the sector this year and next”.
Growth in outbound travel continues to be strong, with a record number of Australians leaving our shores last year (up 8%) and in January-April this year (up 18%).
The survey record solid growth for outbound travel to nearby destinations: New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The combination of discounted airfares and a strong Australian dollar will become less favourable throughout the year.
Growth in Australian outbound travel is likely to slow to a still very strong 13% this year.
Mr Salt warned, “the modest optimism in these forecasts is based on the somewhat patchy global economic recovery gathering momentum over the course of this year.
“However, a return to global recessionary conditions, possibly stemming from the sovereign debt concerns in Europe, would reduce discretionary spending on consumables like tourism.
“Managing these risks highlights the need for Australian governments and the tourism industry to work together to improve the competitive footing and resilience of this key sector.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F