Tourism

The Aussie coast becomes tourism champion

Hannah Edensor

Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan has announced it will be our glorious coastlines and aquatic activities that will take centre stage in future tourism campaigns.

While Restaurant Australia hasn’t quite been put to bed, still churning out stacks of good vibes for the tourism industry, it will be taking a backseat to the glory of our water-based attractions, which are undoubtedly a strength of Australia’s appeal.

“Restaurant Australia was about correcting a misconception about the quality of Australian food,” O’Sullivan explained at an ATE press conference this week in Melbourne.

“Shining a spotlight on our coastal and aquatic attractions is absolutely playing to our strengths in developing our tourism strategies.”

Tourism Australia’s latest data shows that Google searches for Aussie beaches and coastal sites has dropped by 10%, with Australia’s beach rankings falling well behind on the international scale.

“For 2016 and 2017, it will be about generating more awareness on aquatics and nature-based assets,” O’Sullivan added.

The focus on Australia’s natural water features will get a significant boost through the partnership with Sir David Attenborough to highlight the Great Barrier Reef through a three-part documentary series that will air in early 2016.

“We need to reach consumers to tell this story, because when it comes to natural diversity and coastal attractions, the message is clear: Australia can’t be beaten.”

Tourism in 2014 saw record smashing results, and earned the country a massive $60 billion.

Leisure tourism grew by 10% to $17.4 billion, while business and corporate tourism jumped to $3.4 billion contributions, up 7%.

But the ever-expanding Chinese market saw the biggest rise, soaring to $5.7 billion worth of revenue, jumping 19% from the previous year.

O’Sullivan said this would mean an even bigger drive to draw the Chinese traveller, and he believes that Australia’s coastal and aquatic attractions can achieve this.

“Australia’s Indigenous tourism will also be highlighted this year,” O’Sullivan added. “We will be shining a spotlight on that unique part of our tourism narrative in the coming weeks.”

Image credit: realaussieadventure


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