Australia’s export tourism industry is now more valuable to the national economy than coal or rural exports, and with international tourism spending growing at more than 10% a year the future looks extraordinary.
“Australia’s tourism success has been long and sustained and the sector is showing no sign of waning,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said.
“Internationally we are seeing more people engaged in global travel with demand driven by a huge growth in the number of people who now have disposable income from countries like China, Indonesia and India.
“For many, travel has now become an expected part of their lifestyle, rather than a luxury, and Australia is a highly desirable destination - putting us in the box seat for many years to come.”
Mr Shelley said the latest Global Travel & Tourism, Global Impact Update from the World Travel & Tourism Council predicts the travel and tourism sector will remain resilient and continue to grow at a faster rate (3.1%) than the wider global economy.
“The South East Asian region is going to be the powerhouse of tourism growth through to 2020 and while China will continue to be strong, India is forecast to become the fastest growing travel and tourism economy closely followed by Vietnam and Indonesia.
“On top of these new and emerging markets, we have a fantastically strong relationship with western markets, particularly the US, UK, NZ, Germany and France as well as Japan, which have all shown growth over the past year.
“Australia is an extraordinary destination offering beautiful beaches, great wilderness, unique wildlife and great cities and wonderful food - it’s a bucket list destination for much of the rest of the world.
“This position on our export table is no surprise to the thousands of tourism businesses across Australia who serve the 7.4 million international visitors who come to our country each year.
“This is a valuable reminder to governments across Australia to work closely with the tourism industry to build a stronger offering through wise marketing investment, visa reform and capacity building programs.
“Tourism exports are clearly a valuable and vital part our our economy and investment in their success will produce great dividends into the future.”