Australia Market Profile

Australia continues to be a key market for California and our destination partners. Although the market has increased competition form Europe, South East Asia and new destinations within the United States, California and our diverse product offerings remain appealing to the traveler. Australia's economy remains robust with high consumer confidence and low inflation and unemployment, leading to strong consumption activity.


  • 70 percent of Australians still utilize travel agents for research and booking.
  • Millennials with and without kids are still the primary target audience based on spending habits.
  • The ability to live luxe while keeping to a modest budget is extremely important to Australian travelers.
  • Repeat visitors are hunting for the next new attraction, region, or experience.

Australia Profile

In-Person Trips, 2018
$952 Million
Visitor Spending, 2018

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

Economic activity has remained robust in Australia in 2018. GDP growth was fueled by surprisingly strong household consumption. There has been solid consumer confidence throughout the year, inflation remaining at 2.1%, unemployment rate at 5.3% and economic growth at 3.4%. This, coupled with signs that wage growth is gradually picking up, leads to strong consumption activity. New Zealand’s economy is stable and steadily growing. While not at the highs of five years ago, the exchange rate has consistently improved and stabilized against the USD over the past 24 months.

Exchange Rate

  • 1 Australian Dollar equals 0.7215 U.S. Dollar
  • The one economic area of concern is the exchange rate with the Australian dollar dropping throughout the year against the U.S. dollar to around $0.72. The thought remains that if it drops and remains below .70, that could signal concern for higher cost travel to U.S.

Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 85 weekly non stop flights
  • 28,000 weekly non stop seats (+4.3%)
  • 21 weekly Air New Zealand flights from Auckland (with connections from all major Australian cities)
  • 10 weekly Hawaiian Airlines flights to HNL, with connections to multiple California ports
  • 14 weekly Fiji Airways flights via Nadi


  • Planning timeframe: up to six months
  • Booking timeframe: two to four months
  • The planning and booking process has become increasingly fragmented.
  • Over 70% of Australians will still use travel agents during both the research and booking phases for some aspects of their travel.
  • Seasonality of travel from Australia is starting to flatten, with February and November being the quietest periods.

Market Barriers & Risk Factors

The decrease in value of the Australian dollar may be a barrier, particularly if it drops below $0.70. Flight prices have remained competitive and new routes have been added with more to possibly open in 2019. However, the cost of a U.S. vacation can be significantly greater than across Asia when staying in comparable hotels.

High repeat travel creates the potential for California to be perceived as “been there, done that” by repeat visitors.

Competitive Landscape


Other Market Insights


  • After ten years of continued growth from Australia there is definitely a slowing of the market. California is facing increasing competitive threats from ‘new’ destinations. Over 70% of travelers to the U.S. are repeat and 66% are repeat for California.
  • Travel from New Zealand has continued to grow. However, dispersal beyond the gateways activity is not as strong as with Australia.


  • For the first-time visitor, promoting the icons continues to be the correct message. However, repeat travelers need new reasons to visit. This can include major new attractions, promoting new regions and also focusing on peoples passions and how California meets those passions with personalized, unique experiences.
  • Millennials and specifically Millennials with kids are the number one target audience from Australia and New Zealand, based on visitor numbers and spend.


  • Affordable luxury is a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down. Recently, Flight Centre has re-branded Ignite packages to ‘Flight Centre Exclusives,’ 7Travel inked a new deal with Ignite to fulfill their land packages and Luxury Escapes continues to pursue deals with Qantas.
  • There is an ongoing trend to see travel companies merging with media companies which emphasizes the importance of content creation geared towards the consumer. A few examples include 7Media launching 7Travel, Bound Round launching their travel packages and Starts at 60 branching into Travel at 60 shows the importance of personalization and content creation for the consumer.



  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • AQX
  • Average weekly flights and seats, DIIO: January –December 2018
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics
  • CIC Research, Inc.
  • Carat CCS


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