TRA Quarterly, Issue 1 September 2012
The TRA Quarterly is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for top line information on the Australian tourism industry.
Growth has been solid for most key visitor demand and expenditure categories over the past year but growth slowed considerably in the September quarter 2012 for all expenditure categories, except domestic day trips. Despite the continuing strength of the Australian dollar, Australia’s inbound tourism sector grew at 3.1 per cent in the year ending September 2012. A key driver of total inbound performance was the Chinese market; it was responsible for half the increase in arrivals and around 61 per cent of the $932 million increase in total international visitor expenditure. Domestic day and overnight expenditure grew strongly (up 16.4 per cent and 7.0 per cent, respectively) in the year ending September 2012, compared to the previous year.
For key supply-side indicators, seat capacity for domestic aviation in Australia rose strongly over the past year, but international aviation capacity has slowed considerably. Growth in accommodation supply remained subdued in all states and territories while room occupancy rates and room yields continued to rise. Latest indicators for tourism productivity, profitability and investment are mixed. Labour productivity in tourism-related industries appears to have increased, and more strongly than the market sector average for the period from 2007–08 to 2011–12. However, indicators suggest that real investment in tourism-related industries has decreased overall in recent years.
This result does not take into account the strong rebound to growth in building approvals in accommodation stock in the past year, which should result in stronger investment in the future. It should be noted, however, that indicators on profitability in tourism-related industries show a gradual decline, which does not bode well for supporting stronger investment and productivity in future years.