TOURISM Australia aims to double overnight tourism expenditure to A$140 billion (US$145 billion) by 2020, an ambitious target given that its annual growth has slowed in the last decade.
Managing director Andrew McEvoy said: “While Australia did have a record year (in 2010) with 5.9 million visitors for the first time, we have seen our share of the global travel market decline over the past decade.
“If we look at statistics in the last decade, we’ll see that in the 1990s, the average annual growth was 8.3 per cent, but in the last 10 years it was only 1.4 per cent.”
To achieve the 2020 goal, Australia would need to bring annual growth up to 5.3 per cent, said McEvoy.
Key markets with major growth opportunities such as China, the UK, the US, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan have been identified, while emerging markets include Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil.
Qantas Airlines group executive, commercial, Rob Gurney, said that while target-setting was important, investments in tourism development had to be made.
To this, McEvoy said the country would need between 40,000 and 70,000 new rooms, as well as an increase of 40 to 50 per cent in international seat capacity, and 23 to 30 per cent in domestic seat capacity.