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Australia Market Profile

Australia’s economy has been characterized by steady growth over the past decade and a half, which has correlated with strong international travel increases. That growth is only expected to continue, and in 2010, Visit California launched brand marketing in the market. Australian travelers are prone to explore beyond the Golden State’s gateways, seeking an authentic, experiential journey rather than individual attractions and destinations.


MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

  • California is the No. 1 long-haul travel destination for Australians
  • Australian visitation numbers have increased year-over-year since 2009
  • Brag-worthy, “only-in-California” experiences are extremely important to Australian travelers
  • Four or more weeks of annual leave is the norm
  • California is seen as a journey rather than an escape
  • Repeat visitation is driven by Australian consumers’ unprecedented access to cheaper airfare to the United States

Travel Profile

635,000
In-Person Trips, 2016
$1.019 Billion
Visitor Spending, 2016

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

Australia’s economy is dominated by its services sector, yet its economic success is based on the abundance of agricultural and mineral resources. The Australian economy has recorded its 20th consecutive quarter of growth and advanced 3.1 percent in 2016. Despite economic factors such as the decline in the value of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar, softening of the mining industry and a fall in commodity prices, international travel remains strong. This is correlated with competitive airfares (25 percent less than the past two years) as a result of increased airline capacity, low interest rates and high consumer demand for international travel.

Exchange Rate

The U.S. dollar remains strong, yet travel remains high. Factors such as record low airfares ($999 round-trip vs $1500 last year) and increased airlift is keeping travel strong. The level of accommodations is leaning toward three-to-four-star properties in order to account for the exchange rate.

Check current exchange rates on www.xe.com

Travel & Planning Methodologies

Airlift

  • 73 weekly nonstop flights
  • 24,933 weekly seats
 

Booking

  • Planning timeframe: up to six months
  • Booking timeframe: two to four months
  • Planning and booking process has become increasingly fragmented
  • Flights vs. land booked across a variety of traditional and online sources
  • Roughly 50 percent of visitors book their trip through traditional travel agency or tour operator; remainder goes direct or through OTAs
  • More than 15 trade companies include California in their packages
 

Market Barriers & Risk Factors

 

Sources

  • Tourism Economics 
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • CIC Research, Inc. 
  • Tourism Research Australia: Travel by Australians March 2016 Quarterly Results of the National Visitor Survey, Year ending December 2015. U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Focus-Economics.com
  • TradingEconomics.com
  • AQX
  • Carat CCS

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