AUSTRALIA’s inbound tourism is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2025, Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison (pictured) has revealed. “The underlying demand for Australia is still there,” she explained at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2023 (ATE23) on 30 April.
“We knew we’d have a job to rebuild this country,” she told around 2,300 delegates, including 623 buyers from a total of 32 countries, who have gathered at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for ATE23.
“We’re looking to recover to pre-pandemic levels by early 2025, and beyond that we are looking at good steady growth. The good news is that in January and February of this year, holidaymakers outpaced visiting friends and relatives.
“We are seeing those crucial leisure and business holidaymakers starting to come back to Australia in their droves,” she said.
Research also shows that visitors to Australia are spending more, with Harrison saying, “high yielding travellers are planning on spending 20% to 25% more than they were pre-pandemic, and we are seeing that play out.
“We are number 42 in terms of visitation around the world…but when you look at tourism in terms of receipts, we jump to number seven around the world.”
Additionally, Tourism Australia is anticipating the return of the Chinese market, with 133 buyers from the region in attendance at ATE23, which wraps up on 04 May. “It really is just a matter of time. Oxford Economics thinks that we will get back to normality in 2024, but they’re predicting a boom year in 2025,” Harrison explained.
“They’re looking at a 27% growth in 2023, so we are anticipating that,” she added, although reduced aviation capacity is slowing the return of the Chinese market, with air capacity currently at only 30% but looking to grow to 80% by the end of the year.
“The Chinese market is only early days, they’ve only been open for a couple of months, and so we need the aviation capacity to build, but we see a lot of real positives from the China market.”