Strong leisure market drives big increase to Australia

Strong leisure market drives big increase to Australia

TORONTO — Tourism Australia is reporting another record-setting year for the land Down Under, including positive numbers from Canada with a 14% increase from this market.

“North America has seen unprecedented momentum” to Australia, and Canada is a big part of that momentum, says Robert Keddy, Head of Commercial Partnerships, Americas for Tourism Australia.

Keddy headed up a team of Tourism Australia reps and partners including Paul Larcher with VoX International (representing Tourism Australia in Canada) and members of the Invictus Games Sydney delegation at a Tourism Australia travel trade event last night. The 2017 Invictus Games kick off today in Toronto and plans are already well underway in Sydney to host the 2018 Games, in late October.

Strong leisure market drives big increase to Australia

Tourism Australia hosted a wine tasting at its travel trade event last night in Toronto

Out of the top international markets Canada is number 13 in terms of arrivals to Australia, with some 163,000 Canadian travellers making the trek for the year ended July 2017.

Spend was down slightly (9%) but Keddy is buoyed by the increase in visitor figures plus all the extra flights, current and future including Air Canada’s Melbourne flights out of Vancouver as well as extra routes from Air New Zealand and Qantas. “There’s no question that the extra lift is having a positive impact on these numbers,” he said.
The 14% increase in Canadian arrivals is driven by strong leisure travel numbers from this market, Keddy added. The Canadian leisure market to Australia jumped 15% year-over-year to 129,412.

Tourism Australia launched its international marketing campaign, ‘There’s Nothing like Australia’, in 2010. Themed components of the campaign have included Food & Wine and Aquatic & Coastal; next year’s focus will be Nature & Wildlife. “These are proven tourism drivers for people thinking about travelling to Australia,” said Keddy.

A new collection of ‘Signature Experiences of Australia’ from Tourism Australia’s travel industry partners is now available, he added.
Keddy said Tourism Australia is moving away from using just demographics to qualify target markets, and more towards psychographics. Two people can be the same age and gender but have very different priorities when it comes to travel, he noted. What’s more important these days is gathering so-called big data on would-be visitors’ behavior, attitudes and interests.

Strong leisure market drives big increase to Australia

Patrick Kidd, Sydney Invictus Games 2018 and MIchelle Streicher, Aussie Travel, Kingston ON at the Tourism Australia event on Sept. 21, 2017

With that in mind Keddy says Tourism Australia is focusing on ‘the high-value traveller’: consumers who are interested in long-haul travel, who want to come to Australia and who are already captivated by what Australia has to offer.

Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program for travel agents, newly revamped, includes new training modules, 100+ suggested itineraries and fact sheets, a bi-monthly webinar series and free collateral from the Online Aussie Store. The Aussie Specialist Program also includes a ‘Travel Club’ with industry discounts, and exclusive event invites. More details are at AussieSpecialist.com.