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Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Sydney, Australia
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Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Well, tell us something we don't know!

From today's SMH online: smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/the-holiday-is…

The article contains a lot of hot air and not much substance from what I have read. It ends with "[Christopher Brown] says the market is crying out for much more of the ''luxury lodge'' style of accommodation that will attract more global tourism revenue."

Really? I would have thought a major issue is there are few middle of the range options. While I concede I have not travelled extensively across Australia, I typically hear or read about backpacker experiences or high-end/high expense options. What about the masses in between?

What do you all think?

Essex
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1. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

I've not yet been to australia yet but am looking to see what sort of prices I will have to pay when my husband and I come over in two years time for our 50th birthday ! It does mean saving very hard and going without a few things ! I'm determined to do it but in our recession I can see why it is flagging a bit. The exchange rate doesn't help either which puts people off. Never the less I will look forward to it.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

I think the middle of the road is a problem too. Many places price and market themselves as high end but in fact on a world standard the accom, esp service is lacking that true high end edge.

We need to grow kids free options, like it or not many OS travellers are in the 50+ age bracket and along with honeymooners, the last thing they want is to stay at kid central. Look at the qs we get on GBR forums asking for child free options.

More often than not the feedback I get when OS is Oh I'd love to go to Australia but it is just too far and too long in a plane....not sure how we solve that hurdle

southern england
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3. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

i think the airfare has got more expensive in the last year or so . we got return flights this time last year for £800 each , this year it was more like £1200 .That is going to have a major impact on your tourism , and is out of your control .

still think australia is THE holiday destination , but tend to agree about 3* accomodation wanting 4* prices. never come across any poor service though , in fact , on the whole , your service industry seems much more professional than here in england. your weather is a little better as well :-)

South Pole
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4. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

yes it's the mid range accommodation area that is a problem.

think of what u can get in the usa for around $100/night and compare that to here.

it's a no contest.

our recent 4 week trip to south aus and then up to pd only confirmed this.

of course we are comparing a market with a resident population of 22 million with one in the usa of +300million. and living in a tourist area i know that operators are limited to the times they can make a buck and charge accordingly to get themselves over the dead periods.

then there is the food issue. eating out in aus is generally expensive. while the ethnic restaurants in some cases cater to middle range we dont have the chains that take care of this demographic alsewhere.

then there are the incidentals eg.$3.50 for a can of coke most places u go might be considered a little outreagous by os visitors.

our strong dollar has just emphasized our 'uncompetitiveness' but i think it was there when it was around $us0.75. that's always been my estimate of breakeven when travelling to the usa over a number of years.

South Pacific
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5. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Tourism bureaucrats are keen to point to lack of a particular "product" as the cause of tourism's woes. However, the product responds to market demand: If there are customers wanting it, it'll get built.

The real problem is the lack of demand. The causes are the well-known world-wide economic downturn, exacerbated by our relative prosperity and the high Aussie $. We all know this, don't we? But the other contributer is inadequate, poorly placed or non-existent promotion of the destination. That is certainly the cause of Tasmania's woes at present.

And the market is not just - nor even mainly - overseas. We are our own best market. We are relatively wealthy by world standards and like to travel, but are being lured overseas by consistent, well placed campaigns for European river cruises (bleh!) and trips up the inner passage of the Canadian west coast, Just pick up the Travel insert in any weekend paper and see what it's full of. The fact that those campaigns work is what says we should be marketing ourselves to ourselves better. How many Australians openly say that they haven't seen their own country yet? Most!

Personally, I think we need to look to our own shores to find the visitors to use the "product" that's sitting empty at the moment. How to find the money for the ad campaign? Lay off useless tourism bureaucrats!

Luigi

South Pole
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6. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

"How many Australians openly say that they haven't seen their own country yet? Most!"

yes, that is us.

and we made a concerted effort to stay at home this year.

but the cost of travelling locally was an eye opener. we wont be doing it again for a long time.

it's back to europe and the usa for us. much more bang for your buck.

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Go to Port Douglas you beg to get ripped off Lien. You followed the sheep.

The accommodation providors decide who stays in business by only selling tours that pay them 40% commission. You cannot even try to offer a good value tour as your advertising material only ever sees the bottom of a wheelie bin.

rainforest habitat - nearly $90 a couple breakfasts with birds. For another $50 you get a room in the real rainforest and the birds are free.

cattle muster - $330 - for not much more real campside dinner and accommodation at a real cattle station ike Akoombie.

zoos - Many places on the tableland have wildlife on site, again free. Chambers is an old one but also Cedar Park have kangaroos. Crater Lakes.

Reef trips. they say they are closer to the reef then why does to cost more to get there?

Trouble is nowhere to get drunk at these places and Australian only ever want what close to bars, let face it and overseas does do that cheaper.

SYD-LON-MUC
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8. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Totally agree with what lien says in #6.

Last year and this year in London they have been encouraging Brits to stay home and travel. Alot of money had been spent on driving this in the mainly families and couples, not so much the student or the british backpacker.

Alot of what I see here is that they are promoting alot to foreigners. What about getting something together to encourage us to stay home and travel.

And we are also promoting alot of overseas flights and packages.

Jetstar seem to be help with plenty of local offers. But a marketing ploy from the govt to have locals travel around Australia wouldn't be such a bad idea.

I too, like lien, haven't seen as much of Oz as I would've like. Yet seen more of what the rest of the world has to offer.

I was the same in NZ but they started encouraging the North Islanders to venture south.

With so much of the Australian industries sending operational work overseas why not try and keep some of our AUD in OZ tourism?

Edited: 5:43 pm, November 26, 2010
Gungahlin, Australia
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9. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

Sorry Luigi but I don't think I agree with the idea of supply and demand. To a certain extent people will take what they can get. Hubby and I have fond memories of touring around staying in three star places, where we could often get a good decent meal, and sometimes a surprisingly fine meal, as well. Travelling as a family in recent years to many of the same destinations we couldn't find anything really comparable. It seemed like newer places or places that have bothered to renovate have decided to go upmarket, or the more affordable alternative was places that haven't done much redecorating or even maintenance in over twenty years and what on-site dining there was made Macca's look preferable. So now we look for four/five star places as standard rather than as a special occasion treat. And even then we've had some disappointing surprises once you get past the fancy reception desk.

The shortcomings of the idea of supply and demand was brought home to me once when I was listening to the radio and there was a news story about some company's profits being up attributed to sales of something-or-other. I had bought the product, reluctantly, because what I really wanted was just not available. Sometimes for the business it doesn't matter, when people can't get what they want they'll take what they can get, and the business pats itself on the back and says aren't we clever, business is going great. But sometimes if it's something people can live without, they might choose not to compromise. How do businesses find out whether/why they're missing out? We once went in search of something for a specific purpose at likely specialty stores and the response was no-one makes anything like that, it's a shame because people regularly ask for it. So how do the decision makers really find out what people are after? Recently I tried to let a company know about my disappointment that they'd discontinued a really useful feature on their product. It was like banging my head against a brick wall. Not for the first time I got the feeling that the marketing people are so sure they know what you want and can persuade you to want it, that they don't bother actually listening.

Am I missing something in that article? Australian tourism is flagging so the answer is to build EXTRA hotel rooms. Isn't the problem to fill the ones you've got?

I found one of the comments interesting. An Aussie living on the US west coast found that people didn't realise Australia isn't much further than Italy from that side of the country. Maybe they need to work on identifying and dispelling some of the erroneous assumptions about Australia. Add to that maybe all the dangerous critters just waiting to attack you. I just saw a question yesterday about swimming, do some people really have the impression that Aussies can never go in the ocean? I wonder what else there is that potential overseas visitors find discouraging? I'm sure it can't all be addressed by building more luxury lodges!

South Pacific
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10. Re: Tourism in Australia is Flagging...

MacKnee, I don't disagree about the hotel thing. I am also often disappointed by the lack of distinction in places charging high prices for fairly ordinary hotel rooms. Then again, some pretty mundane Aussie motels and B&Bs try really hard and do a good job at delivering value for money.

But I think the rest of your post is about the supply and demand thing. The supply of tourist experiences in the world is very, very large and we need to do something to draw attention to our product and to differentiate it from other products. At the moment I can see very little effort in that regard.

Luigi