Forecast 2013, Issue 1
Forecast 2013, Issue 1 presents the most likely outcome for tourism activity in Australia given past trends, current information and the impact of policy and industry changes.
Despite the many downside risks to the world economic outlook, growth in the Asia-Pacific economies continues to be faster than those of advanced economies. Adding to the positive note are continuing signs of improvement in the prospects for the US economy, but the Euro zone debt issue continues to cause concern and is driving declines in business and consumer confidence. Reflecting these mixed prospects, economic growth forecasts have been revised down for many advanced economies for 2013 since the last forecast issue released in October 2012.
The Australian economy provides mixed signals for the forecast horizon. Capital spending in the resources sector is running close to trend but expectations are for this sector to soften and with that, greater opportunity will open up in other parts of the economy. Unemployment is increasing despite rising retail spending; domestic tourism expenditure continues to grow as Australians travel at home more than in recent years. Along with cautious consumers, rising unemployment, global economic concerns, an associated correction in the Australian share market, and a looming election are likely factors that may limit growth.
After a period of solid growth in recent years in the aviation sector, activity in the global air travel market has accelerated in recent quarters.As a result, inbound capacity to Australia has been revised up for both 2012–13 and 2013–14. On domestic accommodation, supply has remained relatively flat but as demand has risen, so too have yields which are expected to continue to rise in the medium term. Against this backdrop, a number of revisions have been made resulting in a more positive story for inbound and domestic tourism. Forecasts for outbound departures have been revised down resulting in Australia’s net arrivals deficit reducing from the previously forecast 3.4 million in 2021–22 to 2.3 million in the current forecast.