Over 300 industry leaders were told that Tourism Australia will build on the work it does with the global youth market as part of a major multimillion dollar international marketing push, including fresh promotion of the Working Holiday Maker Visa program.
"The youth market contributes more than a quarter of all Australia's international arrivals and these visitors tend to stay longer and disperse widely. For many young people, the Working Holiday Maker Visa Program provides the economic means to fund travel plans, and this will be the inspiration behind our future new campaign," Mr McEvoy said.
Tourism Australia also unveiled, for the first time, the findings of a major international tourism research project into how global consumers view Australia and demand triggers most motivating them to visit.
“The findings suggest we’re already doing a lot right, in terms of where we are prioritising our resources and marketing activities. It’s encouraging, for example, that the highest levels of intention to visit are amongst Chinese and Indians, two of the markets we are most aggressively targeting.
“Equally, the survey has also identified some areas where the industry can step up its game, including better promotion of our high quality food and wine offering, where significant opportunities exist to strengthen what locals already know to be a core strength," he said.
Australian tourism’s peak annual conference, a partnership between Tourism Australia and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, was opened by Tourism Minister Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP and including presentations from leading international and Australian speakers Saul Eslake, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Chief Economist; Dr Leo Jago, Chief Economist of Tourism Research Australia and the leading international tourism figure, Ms Siew Hoon Yiew from Singapore.
Tourism Directions seeks to highlight the opportunities and challenges of Australia’s A$96 billion visitor economy.
Tourism Australia Chairman Geoff Dixon delivered his own upbeat assessment of the industry's prospects which - thanks to resurgence in domestic tourism and the relentless march of China - he said remained well on track to achieve its Tourism 2020 goals.
"Australia’s tourism industry has made good progress in this past year with international and domestic growth and Tourism Australia has deliberately and significantly accelerated its strategies to pursue growth in Asia. Our organisation however has not stopped marketing to western markets, instead running a strong partnership model to ensure we are out-spending competitor destinations in countries such as the UK, Germany, the United States and Canada.
“Australian tourism has turned a corner and remains well placed to achieve our ambitious industry goal to double annual overnight spending by up to $140 billion by the end of the decade," Mr Dixon said.