Australia sees visitor growth on all fronts

By Edwina Storie

Tourism Australia MD, Andrew McEvoy, said at an industry briefing in Sydney last week that despite being in the “Asian Century” the country was still seeing growth from the traditional markets of the UK, Europe and North America.

Mr McEvoy said Australia is first in the world for spend per visit, and business events remained an “imperative” element of attracting high-spend visitors.

The 2020 vision for Tourism Australia to reach $140 billion in overnight spend is complemented by Business Events Australia’s own goals of having delegate expenditure reach $16 billion by 2020.

Business Events Australia’s managing director, Penny Lion, also spoke of not neglecting traditional markets while focusing on attracting more Asian delegates. The USA showed encouraging growth for the September 2012 year-end with an increase in business events of 30 per cent, while the UK increased 17 per cent. Asia continued its promising growth with China up 27 per cent and Japan up 17 per cent.

She said the organisation is also focusing on establishing direct flights from India to make Australia more attractive to India’s 50 million outbound travellers.

Both Mr McEvoy and Ms Lion explained that Australia is perceived overseas as a highly aspirational and safe destination, and that both Tourism Australia and Business Events Australia are on track to reaching, if not outdoing, their 2020 Vision goals.