News Briefs

    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reported (21-Dec-2016) international airline seats into Australia are growing and it is of “particular significance” that Australia has announced an open skies aviation agreement with China “further opening up the opportunity from our most valuable inbound market”.


    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reported (21-Dec-2016) the agency is “doing everything it can to attract more high-yielding visitors to our shores”. The current marketing campaign, launched in Jan-2016, focuses on the country’s aquatic and coastal experiences. The campaign has attracted 10.5 million views of its 360 degree videos on Facebook, a 9% year-on-year increase in visitation to the ‘’ website and a 104% increase in leads to the Australia tourism industry.


    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan stated (21-Dec-2016) the youth market is “critical for Australia“, contributing 25% of all visitor arrivals and 44% of all visitor spending. In Sep-2016, Tourism Australia received an additional AUD10 million (USD7.6 million) in Australian Federal Government funding for a global youth advertising campaign as part of a range of Government initiatives targeting working holiday makers. Initially campaign activity is aimed at potential working holiday makers in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the Nordics. In 2017 this will expand into a broader youth campaign that will roll out in all of our international markets.


    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reported (21-Dec-2016) the body’s 2017 focus will continue to be on markets that offer the best prospects to achieve its Tourism 2020 targets, while maintaining a balanced portfolio across both Eastern and Western markets. China, Japan, South Korea and the US “offer our strongest prospects for growth”. In 2017 has been designated the ‘China-Australia Year of Tourism’, commencing 05-Feb-2017. These key growth markets will be supported by arrivals from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India and New Zealand. UK arrivals are expected to see a boost with the 2017/18 Ashes Series, and Tourism Australia also stated Germany, France and Italy remain critical in our quest for high spending and dispersing consumers.


    Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan reported (21-Dec-2016) the body worked with over 200 marketing and other partners in 2016, contributing an additional AUD65 million (USD46.9 million) to its annual marketing budget. In Aug-2016 Tourism Australia re-established a formal partnership with Qantas, as well as extending and deepening a number of other airline partnerships including Air New Zealand and China Southern Airlines. The body’s relationship with Virgin Australia “continues to go from strength to strength”. Within Australia, the body works over 150 key distribution partners on joint marketing activities. In Sep-2016, Tourism Australia confirmed the appointment of Universal McCann to handle its global media planning and buying requirements.


    Tourism Australia reported (Dec-2016) arrivals from China “continued to grow at a blistering pace”, up 21% year-on-year for the year to Sep-2016. China is currently Australia’s second largest inbound arrivals market, but at the current rate of growth it is likely to become the largest market, ahead of New Zealand, in 2017.


    Tourism Australia reported (Dec-2016) the following international seat capacity growth changes for Australian international airports for the year to Sep-2016:

    • Sydney:
      • Domestic: +2% year-on-year;
      • International: +10%;
    • Melbourne:
      • Domestic: 2%;
      • International: 8%;
    • Brisbane:
      • Domestic: 0%;
      • International: 2%;
    • Gold Coast:
      • Domestic: 4%;
      • International: 29%;
    • Cairns:
      • Domestic: 7%;
      • International: 9%;
    • Adelaide:
      • Domestic: 3%;
      • International: -2%;
    • Perth:
      • Domestic: -6%;
      • International: 3%;
    • Darwin:
      • Domestic: 1%;
      • International: 0%.


    Tourism Australia released (Dec-2016) its ‘International Market Update’ for the 12 months to Sep-2016. Key highlights include:

    • Arrivals: 8.1 million short term, +11%;
    • Holiday arrivals: 4.1 million, +26%’;
    • Visiting Friends and Relatives: Two million, -2%.
    • Spending: AUD38.8 billion (USD28.0 billion), +11%;
    • Source markets: 15 of Australia’s top 20 major source markets grew to record levels, with increased aviation capacity playing a role in the strong growth;
      • South Korea: +28%;
      • China: +21%;
      • Japan: +20%;
      • US:+18%;
      • Canada:+2%.


    Tourism Australia released (Dec-2016) its ‘Business Events Market Profile’ for China. Key highlights include:

    • Australia continues to be perceived as an aspirational long-haul destination and benefits from being the closest Western destination to China in proximity, with excellent direct flight routes;
    • Chinese incentive customer is developing and maturing, as travel becomes a more established part of Chinese life. In addition, repeat visitation to Australia by some Chinese incentive groups is driving demand – and expectations – for new, adventurous and unique products and experiences. Bespoke team building activities, unusual forms of transport and more creative theming and activations for gala functions are becoming the norm;
    • Direct selling, finance/insurance, healthcare and IT are the key industries for outbound incentive groups from China;
    • Competition for the incentive customer continues to increase with many destinations such as Dubai, Europe and the US active in the China market;
    • Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou continue to represent the majority of opportunities for Australia. Over a third of direct selling companies in China, a key industry for outbound incentive groups, are based in these three cities;
    • Key Australian destinations for large-scale incentive events continue to be Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, however Hobart and Cairns are increasingly being considered for smaller (70-200 people) events;
    • Chinese companies will plan and budget for their incentive trip based on their previous year’s profits, sales or revenue, which may affect budgets for incentive programmes;
    • Due to significant growth in incentive business opportunities from Nanjing, Tianjin, Chengdu and Qingdao, Tourism Australia has expanded its work to include these cities;
    • The association sector is changing in China, with the Chinese government announcing an initiative to decouple industrial associations from business councils and administrative institutions. Chinese associations are being encouraged to run commercial operations, including eventually hosting association events overseas. Tourism Australia is keeping a watching brief on this development, to ensure opportunities for Australia are fully utilised.


    Tourism Australia stated (22-Dec-2016) Tourism Australia and Qantas have rolled out a new promotion offering flights from seven German airports to Melbourne or Sydney starting from EUR898. The fares are being promoted through banner ads and video on until 8 January 2017. The promotion comes at a time of record arrivals from Germany with more than 200,000 visitors for the year ending Oct-2016. Visitation in the month of Oct-2016 alone was up 14.4% with 22,300 Germans travelling to Australia. German leisure visitors are valuable travellers, spending 48% of their trip nights outside Australia’s main cities.



    Tourism Australia stated (22-Dec-2016) Australian tourism businesses are being encouraged to enter a new competition by Tourism Australia and Qantas to showcase the best social content shared by the industry in 2016. The competition will choose winners across three categories – best video, best photo, and most viral content – whose content will be shown at the LA Gala. The 2017 programme for Australia’s premiere public, cultural and economic diplomacy initiative in the United States, G’Day USA, was launched earlier in Dec-2016.


    Australia‘s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo stated (21-Dec-2016) spend by domestic tourists hitting an all-time high of AUD59.8 billion (USD43.2 billion) in the last year. The National Visitor Survey shows an increase in the number of domestic tourists visiting every state and territory in Australia. Australians took 66.6 million trips in the last year for a holiday or to visit friends and relatives, which is more than three trips per year per person. Australians are also taking longer trips away, with the average trip growing five per cent over the last three years to 3.7 nights.


    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released (21-Dec-2016) its Tourism Satellite Account, estimating the economic contribution of the tourism industry to the Australian economy at AUD52.9 billion (USD38.2 billion). Sector employment was 580,000, employing one in 20 Australians. Tourism continues to be one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing export earners, with exports increasing by 11.1 % to AUD34.2 billion (USD24.7 billion), the highest increase since Australia hosted the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000.


    Skyscanner Australia reported (07-Dec-2016) its analysis of flight searches travel date predicts significant increases in travel to the following domestic destinations:

    • Norfolk Island: 12% increase in flight bookings to Norfolk Island, on average, over the past three years;
    • Esperance: Booked flights to Esperance have increased by 11% on average over the past three years;
    • Proserpine: Booked flights to Proserpine have increased by 10% on average over the past three years.
    • Hobart: Flight bookings have increased by 6% on average over the past three years;
    • Canberra: Flight bookings have jumped by an average of 4% over the last three years.


    Auckland International Airport stated (23-Dec-2016) Tianjin Airlines‘ new three times weekly Tianjin-Chongqing-Auckland services will add 83,000 seats a year between China and Auckland, providing a NZD102 million (USD70 million) boost to New Zealand’s tourism industry. Tianjin and Chongqing are Auckland Airport’s 47th and 48th international destinations respectively.


    Tourism Western Australia appointed (20-Dec-2016) Gwyn Dolphin as CEO. Mr Dolphin has been leading the organisation as acting chief executive officer while an international search was undertaken. Before assuming that function, Mr Dolphin was the acting executive director in Tourism WA’s markets and partnerships area, overseeing all international and domestic activity.


    Australian Civil Aviation Safety Agency (CASA) announced (Dec-2016) smart phones have been ranked the least wanted dangerous goods in Australian aviation for 2016. This follows an increasing number of passengers accidentally crushing their phone in the reclining mechanism of their aircraft seat. This can result in the damaged smart phone battery going into thermal runaway, possibly igniting a fire. The growing rate of these incidents has seen airlines review seat designs and update safety videos to warn passengers not to move their seat if they lose their smart phone. There were 39 reports of lost or damaged smart phones in 2016, with nine cases requiring emergency procedures. Other least wanted dangerous goods include chainsaws, whipper snippers and other devices with internal combustion engines, gas cylinders and camping stoves, paint and paint related products, fireworks, lighters and matches.


    Australian Civil Aviation Safety Agency (CASA) announced (Dec-2016) it has developed a website to help pilots focus on their well-being. CASA has developed a suite of on-line information and advice on topics such as fatigue, diet, hydration, alcohol and other drugs and mental health.

    These are among the over 30 news items in relation to the Australia Pacific region published by CAPA Centre for Aviation in their Asia Pacific Airline Daily and over 400 news items covering global aviation.