Published on : Friday, January 17, 2020
A survey of the inbound tourism industry has revealed that the overall status of forward bookings has softened significantly compared to this time last year with an estimated $4.5bn impact on the industry.
“ATEC undertook a survey of its members who represent both Australian based tourism businesses as well as Inbound Tour Operators – the people who sell Australian travel in-market – with 70% of respondents recording significant cancellations of travel to Australia by internationals,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.
“The value of cancellations on individual tourism businesses and inbound tour operators managing itineraries for travellers range from $5k to $500k with significant impacts seen across key inbound markets with US, UK, and European inbound markets being the most impacted.
“International visitors are cancelling because of fears around air quality, safety and the impact fires have had on our tourism offering as well as a lack of certainty on how long it will take for us to recover, so the sooner we can communicate a strong, positive message, the better.
“The bushfires have impacted at a significant time for international bookings, with the booking window for around 50% of UK, European and US travellers typically captured from these markets between December and the end of February.”
ATEC has estimated that tourism will see at least a 10% decline in international visitor numbers which will make a significant impact on Australia’s $45bn tourism export industry.
“Timing is of the essence in implementing a campaign of positive images and messages to regain consumer confidence, especially in these markets, before this traditional booking window closes.
“This will give us an opportunity to partially reduce the economic impact on the industry.
“There is no doubt our industry will take a hit, what we need is a clearly defined, well-resourced and expertly executed recovery strategy starting right now in order to stem the flow of cancellations and regain the confidence of intending international travellers.”