News

Competition our greatest challenge, McEvoy says

Australia’s greatest challenge in attracting international visitors remains the intense competition from rival countries who are all chasing the same consumer, Tourism Australia’s departing managing director has said.

Andrew McEvoy told Travel Today that while Australia has performed well during his tenure, the battle for tourists will be as tough as ever for his successor.

He identified the Tourism 2020 plan, social media and TA’s growing partnerships with airlines as among the agency’s successes since he took the reins in 2010.

“The greatest challenge for Australia will remain a competitive one. In the 1980s and 90s when I started in this industry there weren’t so many countries playing [in the sector] ,” McEvoy said.

“Now, globally, everyone wants to get the economic benefit of international visitation. There are a couple of hundred countries having a crack, and 150 in China, so to be competitive and maintain or grow share is really difficult. There are 200 countries going after the same consumer so that’s probably the number one challenge.”

The other battle is the “time immemorial issue of time, cost and distance”, although Australia has “made up some ground”, McEvoy said.

Forging partnerships with airlines around the world – a key TA strategy – coupled with the government’s forward thinking bilateral policies have driven growth, he said.

“Australia has never had as much capacity as it has now. That has really developed over the past four or five years with the growth out of the Middle East and China and the emergence of low cost carriers.”

McEvoy said he will leave Tourism Australia at the end of the year proud of its achievements, with the Tourism 2020 strategy key to providing a “blueprint for growth”.

“The truth is, for the first time in 20 years we are talking about labor skills, aviation access, infrastructure, investment and all the things that an advertising campaign will never solve,” he said.

“I’m proud of the There’s Nothing like Australia campaign which is going very well and is attracting a lot of partnership money. When I got here revenue was about $8 million to $10m, it’s now closer to $60m so I am very proud of what the guys have achieved in my time here.

“I am also amazed at the team’s efforts in the social media space. It’s become a forte of ours.”

McEvoy said the collaboration between Tourism Australia and the states and territories has also improved as part of its policy to market the country with “one voice”.

“When I first came to Tourism Australia only 7% of the state and territory budgets were spent in conjunction with TA off-shore. It’s now around 60% and the other 40% is not money they can spend on marketing,” he said.

McEvoy said an international search is underway to find his successor, although he didn’t rule out someone being recruited from within the organisation.

Whoever takes the reins will find a government that is supportive of tourism, McEvoy said

“I am really chuffed with this new government. I’ve had a lot of discussions with Andrew Robb who is going to be a very good tourism minister,” he said. “He’s like Martin Ferguson, a no fuss minister who wants to get stuff done.

“Julie Bishop is also keen on this sector, Joe Hockey is a former tourism minister and Scott Morrison used to have this role at TA so I do think there is a coalition of the willing. If our industry can get its messaging right, you’ve got some smart,  committed people who might be able to help out with a few things.”

On his reasons for leaving, McEvoy said it was time for a change after 20 years in the industry.

“The timing is good because it’s been a pretty good period for tourism in Australia,” he explained. “A great opportunity came up at Fairfax and I’m going back to a commercial role and trying to make a profit and that motivates me.

“But I will miss this industry enormously. It’s been a great 20 years. I have a lot of friends in the industry and a lot of respect for the people in it.”


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Cruise

“Abducted by luxurious pirates!” Crystal Cruises ship heads to Bahamas after US issues arrest warrant

The Crystal Symphony is channelling its inner OJ Simpson by running from the law. Unfortunately the cruise ship doesn’t have Al Cowlings by its side to keep it going.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

United Airlines flight turned back after passengers start a “riot”

These two unruly passengers decided “if I can’t have business class seats, then no one can have business class seats!”

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Scoot to resume Singapore-Gold Coast flights in February

Ready your wallets, because this may be one of the more expensive Valentine’s Days with a spontaneous venture to south-east Asia.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel workers stage national day of action urging politicians to introduce AFTA’s recovery package

Travel industry folk across the country are participating in a National Travel Day of Action outside the offices of key federal and state parliamentarians today to speak up about the industry’s unique struggle.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med’s Pacific boss speak out against WA’s delayed reopening

The kings of the all-inclusive holidays have signalled their support for WA’s travel agent community, blowing a big raspberry in Premier McGowan’s direction.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

REVIEW: QT Melbourne is a luxury boutique with a rock ‘n’ roll mentality

by Ali Coulton

QT’s Melbourne property is the embodiment of everything we love about the Victorian capital – it’s both uber-chic and a little bit bad-ass.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas group cuts capacity after WA delays border reopening indefinitely

Aussie airlines are having to continuously lower expectations, announcing more cuts than a post-lockdown hair salon.

Share

CommentComments

News

ICAO Report says Ryanair bomb threat ‘deliberately false’

by James Harrison

The new report from ICAO has exposed a bold move of political repression by the Belarusian president, who allegedly orchestrated a bomb scare on a Ryanair flight.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent shines a light on cruising in a time of COVID

After two years of being denied her usual travel escapades, this Queensland-based travel agent had the opportunity to dust off her suitcase and give travellers confidence by sharing her experience.

Share

CommentComments

News

Entry restrictions eased for international travellers

by Ali Coulton

Those with a debilitating fear of having foreign objects wedged in their noses will be over the moon upon reading this recent announcement from the Minister of Health.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Fitzroy Island Resort gets million-dollar makeover as bounce-back anticipation grows

Queensland’s ultra-luxe island resort is about to get at least 60 per cent more lavish, by our reckoning. However, we made that stat up on the spot so best to just click here and see for yourself.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Journey Beyond Group Looks Beyond 2022 and Releases 2023 Season!

by Sponsored By Journey Beyond

Journey Beyond is going above and beyond to take you to infinity… and beyond. Or at least to 2023, a good start!

Share

CommentComments