Tourism in Australia: Where it is and where it’s heading

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Australia Ocean
A surfer jumps into the Pacific Ocean as a cloud bank sits off the coast of the Sydney's Elouera Beach as Australia experiences mild late autumn temperatures, April 28, 2017. Reuters/Jason Reed

Australia’s tourism spending has climbed to $121.2 billion as a result of increases in international and domestic visitors. The figure from the Tourism Research Australia represents the amount that visitors spend while shopping, gambling, flying and more.

The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo described the latest data as a “record spending” that was creating and supporting jobs across Australia. The future of tourism is bright as major markets such as the United States, United Kingdom and Asia grow strongly.

Key markets, the US in particular, are a major economic and trading partner for Australia. It is the nation’s largest investment destination, with two-way investment costing $1.48 trillion last year. It is also Australia’s second biggest trading partner and second largest market for total tourists spend.

Ciobo is set for a visit to the United States and Colombia this week to advance trade, tourism and investment opportunities for Australia. An increase in Australia’s trade through fresh export opportunities and new investments are perceived to create new jobs and push growth in the economy.

In a media release issued from Ciobo’s office on Tuesday, it was revealed the minister is heading to New York for a meeting with major investment firms to encourage further investments in the country. He is also slated for a visit in Miami where he will meet with representatives from the international cruise industry to promote Australia as a destination for tourists.

In Colombia, Ciobo will participate in the 12th Presidential Summit of the Pacific Alliance, which also includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The Pacific Alliance is considered as an important trading bloc. After the summit, he will attend a meeting with his counterparts to advance new trade opportunities for Australian exporters.

Margy Osmond, Tourism and Transport Forum CEO, has observed more Aussies were opting to explore their island continent now than ever before. “With each set of data coming out it is becoming more and more apparent that the visitor economy is the Australian economy’s great success story,” news.com.au quotes him as saying. Meanwhile, Adele Labine-Romain, Deloitte Access Economics partner, said the $121.2 billion in tourism expenditure was “extraordinary,” adding the potential of the tourism industry is “very, very strong.”

The nation’s trade and investment relationship has flourished under the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). Two-way trade has jumped from $42 billion in 2005 to $64 billion last year since it entered into force.

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