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Growth forecast puts tourism at the forefront of Australian exports

Growth forecast puts tourism at the forefront of Australian exports
November 2, 2015

Tourism is on track to be a $145.1 billion economy for Australia within 10 years, with the industry having a highly positive future outlook.

The latest National Tourism Forecasts to 2024/25, released by Tourism Research Australia today, suggests that tourism exports will be Australia’s largest growth area at 5.9%.

Highlights of Tourism Research Australia’s Tourism Forecast 2015:

International Visitors
• 7.52 million international visitors to Australia in 2015-16 (up 5.9%); 
• International visitors will spend $35.9 billion in 2015-16 (up 6.7%);
• On track to exceed 10 million international visitors by 2023-24;
• China forecast to overtake New Zealand as Australia’s largest source market in 2019-20.

Domestic Visitors
• Domestic visitor nights forecast to be 324 million in 2015-16 (up 3.5%);
• Lower Australian dollar and fuel prices influencing more domestic travel;
• Domestic visitors will spend $76.7 billion in 2015-16 (up 3.4%).

Acknowledging that forecasts were in line with on the ground industry sentiment, ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley stated “this report shows there is a projected growth across all our key international travel markets which is above the global growth trend, putting Australia in a great position to maximise our tourism export success.

“Over the past five years the tourism export industry has worked hard to consolidate its position as a destination offering quality experiences which cater for the demands of both our traditional markets and the needs of emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

“This has put us in the box seat to make the most of these strengthening economies and their demand for international travel.”

Shelley said improvements in the economic outlook internationally, coupled with the weaker dollar, will make Australia an even more attractive destination provided we continue to invest in growth.

He added “the projections suggest Australia’s export tourism earnings will grow at an average of 3.8% over the ten year period, taking total expenditure to more than $48 billion by 2024-25, and we need to facilitate this growth by ensuring Tourism Australia has adequate marketing resources to drive destination awareness, intention to travel and conversion within our target markets.

“Driving awareness of Australia as a destination and converting this to travel is a vital element of success when we are competing against almost 200 other international travel destinations.

“Our message is to ensure Government and industry work in partnership to maximise our international tourism potential by removing impediments like onerous and expensive visa applications and travel taxes and charges which are higher in Australia than in competing destinations.

“Overall we have a fantastic opportunity and a very bright future with strong engagement in the markets which are showing the greatest potential for growth so our industry should be confident in its ability to convert these figures into reality.” 

Highlighting that tourism could become a key pillar of the nation’s future economic growth with the right support and stronger investment from Australian governments, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond stated “what the latest tourism forecast figures tell us is that tourism industry has the potential to be an economic and jobs powerhouse for the nation if we get are willing to get behind it.

“Tourism is an industry that is on the move and now is the time for government to back it up with a renewed economic and investment strategy.

“Deloitte has identified tourism as one of the next big waves for the future of the Australian economy – it’s currently shaping up as a $145.1 billion wave within 10 years but we can make it bigger if we are willing to roll out a bold plan that backs the industry now. 

“More tourists, staying more nights, and spending more money, means more jobs for Australians and a wealthier nation. 

“It’s an absolute no-brainer for government and industry to work together to put tourism into overdrive to take up the slack in the economy following the end of the mining boom.”

The full report is available at






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