Marketing costs double for tourism operators as Australia’s global footprint shrinks

Kangaroo on Lucky Bay - Cape Le Grand National Park - Australia
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Local tourism businesses are paying up to twice as much in marketing costs compared to pre-COVID, a survey by the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has revealed.

    The news comes as many businesses cite a range of pressures on marketing budgets including increased spending by competitor nations, costs of attending tradeshows and rising advertising costs.

    “We always knew the restart of tourism would be tough – shutting borders effectively closed many tourism businesses servicing international markets – and more than two years on we are still working hard to revive our visitor markets,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.

    “More recent headwinds have added to the challenge with geo-political, environmental, aviation and economic concerns putting pressure on decisions to travel.

    “For Australian tourism businesses in particular, the costs of marketing their product in Europe or the US have increased significantly, and this is really showing in our ability to hold space in the international travel marketplace.”

    Key findings from the survey show that over 75 per cent of Australian tourism businesses reported a 20 per cent increase in marketing costs while one in four said costs have doubled since 2019.

    “While we are seeing pressures on individual businesses, the cost of marketing Australia to a global audience has also increased for our marketing agencies who are now needing to significantly increase their advertising spend to maintain ‘top of mind’ awareness for intending international travellers,” Shelley continued.

    Shelly also hopes for increased funding for Tourism Australia ahead of tomorrow’s budget announcement.

    “Failing to invest in tourism is failing to invest in an Australian success story,” he said. “We should not forget that in 2019 tourism’s GDP grew by 3.5 per cent, outpacing the national GDP and that is an economic benefit we are currently missing out on.

    “We call on the Federal Government to support tourism, to support the economy by helping tourism businesses across Australia to get back to into the market and get back to doing what they do best.”

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