Breaking Travel News

Aviation to shape Australia’s tourism

New forecasts indicate that the contribution of tourism to the Australian economy is forecast to increase from $84 billion in 2006 to just over $100 billion in 2016 in real terms, underpinned mainly by growth in inbound tourism. The TFC forecasts provide an outlook across all tourism sectors including domestic international and outbound tourism for 2006 to 2016 and also provide forecasts for the economic value of inbound and domestic tourism.

Chairman of the Tourism Forecasting Committee, Bernard Salt, said the value of inbound tourism is forecast to increase at an average rate of 4.9% a year from $22 billion in 2006 to $35 billion in 2016 in real terms. This longer term growth rate has been revised up from 4.3% a year mainly due to larger than previously assumed increases in aviation capacity serving Australia.

“After a solid start to the year, arrivals are forecast to rise 3% to 5.7 million in 2007,” Mr Salt said.

“In 2008 and beyond arrivals are forecast to grow more strongly with increases in international aviation capacity and further weakening of the Australian dollar improving the competitiveness of travel to Australia.

“Turning to the outlook for domestic tourism, aviation developments will also shape this sector of the industry,” Mr Salt said.


“The amount of aviation capacity serving the domestic market is set to expand significantly in late 2007 and through 2008. This is expected to support an increase in tourism trips at the expense of lowering average nights per trip as some travellers switch from ground to air transport.”

“As a result after rising by 1% to 289 million in 2007, domestic visitor nights are forecast to decline by 2% in 2008 and by a further 3% to reach 274 million in 2009. Beyond 2009 domestic visitor nights are forecast to rise moderately to reach 282 million in 2016,” Mr Salt said.

This growth will support an increase in the economic contribution of the domestic tourism industry from $62 billion in 2006 to $65 billion in 2016 in real terms.

“Throughout the projection period domestic tourism will be under pressure as rival goods and services including overseas travel destinations compete for consumers’ time and money,” Mr Salt said.

“Outbound tourism is forecast to continue growing at a stronger rate than domestic tourism given the increasing desire of Australian’s to travel overseas, the expansion of low cost air capacity to outbound markets and the overall expansion in international aviation capacity servicing Australia from late 2009.

“As a result outbound departures are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of over 5% between 2006 and 2016 to reach 8.2 million,” Mr Salt said.

The TFC’s membership draws on the combined expertise of the private and public sectors in the tourism and finance industries. Chaired by Bernard Salt (KPMG), Committee members are from the Australian Bankers’ Association, the Australian Standing Committee on Tourism, the Australian Tourism Export Council, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Property Council of Australia, Qantas, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Tourism Australia and TTF Australia. Other organisations are also consulted as required.

The forecasts aim to assist in investment and marketing decision making for the sector as well as the formulation of public policy within the Australian tourism sector at both national and regional levels.

The TFC forecasts are available to download from Tourism Research Australia’s website: