Latest News

Back to Latest News back


ATEC highlights the impact of declining inbound tourism on regional communities

ATEC highlights the impact of declining inbound tourism on regional communities
March 8, 2021

According to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC,) regional tourism businesses across the country reliant on ‘high spending’ international visitors will be the big losers if Australian inbound tour operators (ITO) are not supported to survive until international borders reopen.

Destinations like Tropical North Queensland and central Northern Territory which are heavily reliant on international visitation depend on customers delivered through the supply gateway provided by ITOs. Without further financial support, these ITOs will not survive creating structural damage to the supply chain resulting in Australia losing its competitive edge in attracting international visitors and the billions of dollars they spend.

ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley notes “International travellers become aware of product offerings in Australia, book and ultimately experience the destination as a result of the global sales network provided by the ITO.

“As the borders reopen people will be looking for assurances that their travel will be ‘COVIDSafe’, have flexible booking and cancellations terms and returnable deposits if circumstances change - ITOs will provide a vital role in providing these assurances.

“ITOs are the bridge that joins the international tourism trade with Australian tourism businesses – many of which are in regional Australia and cannot connect into the global market without expert ITOs supporting and promoting them.”

ATEC is calling on the Federal Government to provide a grants-based program to preserve skills and expertise in the inbound distribution network which counts around 100 specialist tourism businesses. Supporting Australia's ITOs will deliver a significant return on investment though export revenue generated as well as the jobs saved directly within ITO businesses and for the thousands of tourism suppliers and their staff who service international visitors delivered via the ITO distribution channel.

Shelley adds “this investment will play an important role in helping Australia to maintain global competitiveness and connections with international markets to ensure we are ready and capable of converting this demand into actual travel.

“We know there is significant pent-up demand for international travel and Australia will be a desirable destination but our ability to convert this demand to actual travel will depend on our ability to provide the structure, talent and expertise to support the recovery.”

For more information and to support ATEC’s #saveaussietourism campaign click here.

Related Articles

8th March 2021 - Australian Regional Events Alliance looks to support events industry

21st December 2020 - ATEC welcomes Dan Tehan as Australia’s new Federal Tourism Minister

24th November 2020 - ATEC to provide COVID Ready training for New Zealand based tourism businesses

18th November 2020 - ATEC to deliver its annual Meeting Place program as a hybrid event in 2020

10th November 2020 - ATEC highlights that tourism exporters need JobKeeper support until international borders reopen

19th October 2020 - ATEC expands its program supporting Australian tourism exporters to attract domestic visitors

7th October 2020 - ATEC welcomes Federal Budget support for tourism industry

27th September 2020 - ATEC concerned over lack of government funding to support inbound tour operators

21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols  

23rd June 2020 - ATEC warns domestic travel not a simple fix for Australia’s tourism industry

13th May 2020 - ATEC highlights the harsh reality of a tourism industry in crisis

30th April 2020 - ATEC part of new Tourism Restart Taskforce to strengthen industry COVID-19 response

22nd April 2020 - ATEC considers diverse and competitive airlines to be critical to Australian tourism

6th March 2020 - ATEC highlights the ongoing threat of Coronavirus to export tourism industry

17th January 2020 - ATEC emphasises the need for positive messages to international tourists

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation



We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist integrator and contractor in sound reinforcement, audio visual systems, performance lighting and production communications. Over its almost 50 year history the company…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business