travelBulletin

ATEC View for August

The question therefore is will this growth in outbound, combined with the slow inbound recovery, result in less travel and spend across Australia over the next 12 months? Only time will tell. 

Peter Shelley, Managing Director, ATEC

By Peter Shelley, Managing Director, Australian Tourism Export Council

WE’RE an intrepid bunch us Aussies. Given the tyranny of distance and our love of an overseas holiday, almost 60% of us hold a passport and that’s been reflected in the speed at which we’ve been picking up the suitcase and making an escape.

The latest stats out of the ABS are confirming this with almost 170,000 Australians taking an overseas holiday in June – escaping to warmer climes. Meanwhile only 76,000 international visitors arrived here for a holiday in the same month. You have to search back to the same month in 1991 to see inbound holiday maker figures anywhere near as low as they are right now.

With the borders only open a few months we also need to consider the rebuild and how fast our holiday movements are growing. While the number of Australians taking holidays abroad is growing at around 40,000 a month inbound numbers are lucky to be increasing by 20,000.

The question therefore is will this growth in outbound, combined with the slow inbound recovery, result in less travel and spend across Australia over the next 12 months? Only time will tell.

While international intel tells us Australia is still a popular destination, we know we have a battle on our hands to win back the hearts and dollars of our international visitors.  While we have always battled the tyranny of being a distant destination from key northern hemisphere markets, we have in recent years enjoyed strong visitation from our North and South Eastern Asian neighbours, but with China yet to declare its hand regarding inbound and outbound travel by its residents, a significant question mark remains over how long it will take for the full recovery of our tourism export sector.

Tourism Australia research points to high levels of intent to travel to Australia from our key markets however, it’s fair to say that many intending travellers are delaying their long-haul travel decisions due to the rising costs of living (inflation, fuel etc) combined with current high costs of flights, both reducing the speed of the recovery of leisure inbound travellers in the short term.

Yes, plenty of twists and turns to be experienced as part of the recovery of our tourism export sector, the shining light being an expectation that we will see a growth in air capacity in Q4 of 2022, back to around 75% of 2019 capacity (compared to around 55% now), which will make it more affordable to travel long haul for the Australian summer – fingers crossed!

Subscribe To travelBulletin

Name(Required)