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Australia’s tourism industry staring at a cost-of-business mountain

A recent ATEC survey has found Australian tourism businesses are being forced to significantly increase their marketing budgets to stay relevant, writes MATT LENNON.

Australia’s export tourism industry is risking being forgotten on the world stage, with businesses spending double their pre-pandemic budgets on marketing in order to stay visible.

The revelation forms the key part of a recent survey by the Australian Tourism Export Council, which found three-quarters of export tourism businesses have been forced to increase their marketing budgets by up to 20% in order to stay competitive.

Businesses said they are feeling the pressure in light of increased spending by competitor destinations, exchange rates, cost of attending trade shows, advertising costs and overall business travel expenses.

“For Australian tourism businesses in particular, the costs of marketing their product in Europe or the US have increased significantly, and this is really showing in our ability to hold space in the international travel marketplace,” said ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley.

“As we move towards this year’s Federal Budget, we are seeing agencies such as Tourism Australia trying to do more with much the same budget, in real terms, they’ve been working with for the past decade.”

Shelley said that state tourism budgets, along with the Australia’s collective funding pool, have shrunk, while many of our competitors have boosted their tourism marketing spend.

“Failing to invest in tourism is failing to invest in an Australian success story,” Shelley argued.

“We call on the Federal Government to support tourism, to support the economy by helping tourism businesses across Australia to get back to into the market and get back to doing what they do best.”

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