Phillipa Harrison Phillipa Harrison

Tourism exchange illustrates Aussie rebound – high yield travel up despite headwinds

While research shows that wealth concerns are replacing health related travel hesitation, Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison says the country is still registering strong progress with high yielding travellers.

At the Australian Tourism Exchange, underway in the Gold Coast this week, Harrison noted that these travellers are spending 25% more than they were before Covid.

‘When we talk about high yield travellers we are not just talking about high net worth individuals, we are looking at people who prioritise travel in their discretionary spend. We do a lot of work to identify who they are and how to target them.’

Harrison says the strategy is clearly working. ‘

We are ranked 42 (in the world) in terms of the numbers of people we attract to the country  - 9.5 million - but when we talk about tourism receipts that jumps to being number seven in the world.’

ATE23 is the first time for three years that the event has been held in its full format, after being a non-starter in 2020 and a hybrid expo in 2021 and 22.

It involves a total of 2,300 delegates including 623 global buyers, 16 of these from New Zealand. A total of 45,000 meetings will be held during ATE23.

Harrison and other speakers noted the challenges that still exist with aviation capacity and airfares.

‘We do hear concerns from visitors but capacity is on its way back and as that increases the airfares are normalising.’

One area that has become less challenging over the past 12 months is finding people to fill roles in the tourism industry.

‘That was a real issue (a year ago), not just in Australia but globally,’ says Harrison. ‘However we are hearing from operators that people are starting to come back, along with those on working holiday visas so it less of an issue than it was 12 months ago.’

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