Tourism is a significant industry for Australia, generating $98 billion in spending and contributing nearly $38 billion to Australia’s GDP. The sector directly employs over 500,000 people and earns nearly 12% of our total export earnings, making it Australia’s largest service export industry.
Tourism helps to fund critical economic infrastructure like airports, roads and hotels, and provides the people-to-people linkages to Australia’s international interests. It also plays an important role in the economic development of regional Australia, with 46 cents in every tourist dollar spent in the regions.
The industry consists of almost 285,000 enterprises that support the visitor economy from accommodation and cafes, casinos, tour companies, travel agents, transport companies, and parts of the retail and education sector, and is supported by a supply chain that generates significant economic multipliers – higher than multipliers in mining, agriculture and financial services - so there has never been a better time for those involved in the residential accommodation industry. Rentals are up, interest rates are down, intuitive technology platforms are facilitating communication and streamlining bookings, and the mounting hype over the 2018 CommonWealth Games is indicating that an additional 20,000 jobs will be needed in Queensland by 2020.
With the majority of ARAMA members being Queensland-based, it is prudent to highlight that according to recent statistics, Queensland alone hosted 2.6 million international visitors in the year ended September 2016, an increase of 17 per cent in holiday travellers. Those international visitors spent $5.2 billion - equivalent of $100 million every week - around the State over the same period.
Double-digit growth from Asia has led to the highest number of tourists ever, with China reported as the biggest market by total number and expenditure, with significant growth from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Thailand.
Western markets have remained on a steady growth curve with solid increases from the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Switzerland.
Holiday growth was the strongest of the markers with 1.8 million international tourists coming to Queensland to relax. Holidaymakers spent just under $3 billion during their stays.
In this environment, it is extremely rewarding that two ARAMA members Pinnacles Resort, Airlie Beach and The Observatory, Port Macquarie, were presented top awards at the prestigious Queensland and New South Wales Tourism Awards held recently, adding to their respective accolades.
The outstanding achievements, of both facilities, highlight the importance of achieving recognition in this highly competitive industry and market. In addition to providing the obvious boost to morale and improved performance, the awards definitely have a positive impact on the capital value of the business.
Australia has a wealth of assets that differentiate it from other destinations around the world, including unique landscapes and nature-based tourism offerings; Indigenous culture and heritage; sophisticated cities and regions; and friendly, tolerant, culturally diverse population.
With an average of 38,000 people staying in resident managed accommodation every night of the year, improved facilities, guest satisfaction and ongoing maintenance of our properties must be a top priority.
Whether it is short-term lettings or long-term rentals, the opportunities are there for sustained future growth to deliver significant gains for all involved.
ERIC VAN MEURS