Thank You, Please Come Again!: Australia’s $14 Billion Windfall from Returning Overseas Visitors

Returning overseas visitors to Australia are pumping in a whopping $14.8 billion a year into the nation’s visitor economy reinforcing the need for a continuously improving visitor experience to keep them coming back said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).

Australia hosted 4.2 million return overseas visitors that spent $14.8 billion and 2.5 million first time visitors that spent $8.6 billion in the year to September 2015 according to the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia (TRA).

New Zealand (1.1 million), China (431,000), the UK (414,000), Singapore (273,000), USA (265,000) and Malaysia (209,000) are the leading countries with residents returning multiple times to Australia.

“More than 63 per cent of overseas visitors stepping off a flight or cruise at one of our international ports in the past year have visited Australia previously, which just goes to show how important the return visitor market is to our tourism economy,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“The first rule of any good business is that retaining existing customers is cheaper than attracting new ones – so it’s crucial to provide the best visitor experience possible and strong attractions with smart marketing to keep them coming back because return visitors spend just as much on average as those during their first visit.

“Attracting repeat visitations are also good for regional tourism because international visitors are more likely to venture outside of the capital cities on their second, third or fourth visits.

“Competition in the international tourism market is growing fiercer by the day with more and more countries switching onto the advantages of growing their tourism economies.

“We’ve had a good story in Australia’s growing tourism sector and we need to ensure we are continuing to grow it by constantly improving the visitor experience of Australia and removing the costs and barriers to coming here. Media contact: Chris Taylor 0423 272 494

“Australia cannot allow itself to rest on its laurels and expect that the Opera House, Great Barrier Reef and Uluru on their own will be enough to keep visitors coming back again and spending their hard earned cash.

“We need to be continuously and aggressively marketing our country to overseas visitors by investing additional funding into the dynamic campaigns being undertaken by Tourism Australia.”

Ms Osmond said TTF is a vocal advocate of the need for the Federal Government to work with industry to develop an economic strategy for the tourism sector that would include removing the barriers to travel to Australia and improving the visitor experience.

“Placing a new emphasis on tourism as a leading industry sector for Australia is a key reason we’ve joined with other industry groups in agriculture, IT, financial services and international education to form the Future Economy Forum.

“Governments focus too much of their attention on industries that are facing tough times or are in decline, when we have some great forward looking industries, like tourism, that with a strong partnership between business and government can become the economic powerhouses of Australia now and for decades to come.

“The Future Economy Forum wants to place our industries and a strong policy agenda to improve our sectors at the centre of Australia’s economic debate.”