In light of the current financial crisis and its expected impacts, Tourism Australia has developed a Global Market Monitor to provide industry and stakeholders with a detailed report on the conditions and performance of each of its key markets.
The Monitor is based on visitor and visa data as well as reports from our international offices, trade partners and industry colleagues.
In the six months to June 2009 inbound tourist arrivals declined by 2 per cent compared to the same period last year. It is estimated for the month of July 2009, arrivals will decline by up to 13 per cent on last year - as a result of World Youth Day (WYD) event arrivals which inflated the July 2008 arrivals numbers.
Beyond July, there is much uncertainty regarding the impact of the economy on tourism as some source markets continue to feel the effects of recessionary instability while others note increasing consumer confidence which could unlock pent up demand for travel to Australia.
The Australian dollar’s price competitiveness has declined since the last edition of the Global Market Monitor (GMM). Despite current exchange rate levels representing a better value proposition than in the peak of July 2008, there has been a decline in price competitiveness from Australia’s major source destinations such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Korea.
In terms of domestic tourism, most recent data illustrates declining trends. The opportunity that decreased Australian outbound travel represented for domestic tourism in the early part of 2009 did not eventuate with March quarter National Visitor Survey (NVS) results showing weak results across the board.
The Australian aviation industry continues to adjust to the challenges despite fears of oil price increases. There have been relatively few announcements of cuts to aviation capacity and in some cases increases to capacity have been announced. Airfare discounting is expected to continue to stimulate demand.
The concern over the swine flu pandemic seems to be reducing through continued communication of the pandemic’s moderate symptoms and relatively low mortality rate. The main impact has been seen in parts of Asia and Japan.
Tourism Australia continues to implement business strategies to support flexibility during these uncertain times and continues to remain active with tactical marketing in key markets. Despite modest declines in arrivals to Australia over recent months, Australia continues to out-perform many competing destinations and as a result has gained market share.