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News 05.11.15


China is ‘magic’ for Australia


Chloe Cann


AUSTRALIA HAS welcomed “record numbers” of visitors, hitting “the magic seven million mark”. Speaking at WTM London, Katherine


Droga, Tourism Australia’s general manager western markets and global distribution development, added: “We’re up about 10% in international visitor spend and 7% up in international arrivals.” Droga attributed the growth to a


favourable exchange rate, consumer demand, good aviation access, new infrastructure and a host of new product. “It’s a much more attractive destination than it’s ever been,” Droga said.


One of the destination’s key source


markets is China, which Droga said had shown “phenomenal growth”. “[Out of the Chinese market] we had a 32% increase in visitor spend last year, which is worth about $7 billion.” Denise von Wald, regional general manager for the UK and northern


Europe at Tourism Australia, added that as a source market the UK continued to boom. “We’re thrilled with the latest figures. UK passenger numbers are up 5% in the first eight months of the year and in August we were up 7%. “That’s terrific for us given that the UK is a large volume and high yield market. We’re delivering more than 670,000 [arrivals from the UK] per annum. The UK is also our number two market in terms of visitor spend, and the number one for dispersal.” Two other areas of focus for the tourism board are the Mice and the luxury sectors. Meanwhile in January 2016, the tourism board will roll out a campaign focused on Australia’s coastal and aquatic features, such as the Great Barrier Reef. The campaign will follow the early


2016 launch of a three-part BBC One documentary series titled David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef, the rights of which have been sold to 130 countries, added von Wald. Droga explained: “This campaign is about leveraging our competitive advantage [and publicising] our amazing marine life, tropical islands and pristine beaches. It’s about playing to our strengths. “We know 70% of our visitors have


BBC One’s David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef starts next year TOURIST SPEND


Ecuador celebrates rising yield from growing visitor numbers


Edward Robertson


A FOCUS on increasing average spend instead of simply volume saw Ecuador increase tourism revenue by 17% in 2014, its deputy minister of tourism promotion has revealed. Dominic Hamilton said the country


DUBAI BANQUET: Dubai Tourism hosted trade partners for a thank-you dinner at Whitehall’s Banqueting House prior to WTM London, where guests dined beneath an original ceiling painted by Rubens. Dubai is currently celebrating a “stunning” performance from its UK market.


10 05.11.2015


also saw a 14% increase in visitor numbers to more than 1.5 million in the same period, but its yield had grown substantially more. He added that in the first half of 2015 alone the destination saw a 3% growth in visitor numbers, which was trumped by an 11% growth in yield. “We’ve been doing very well,” Hamilton said, although he conceded that there had been difficulties. “We have had a challenge with a strong dollar as we are a dollar economy which makes it hard for Europeans [to visit].”


He added that the strategy had been implemented particularly well in the UK, where nearly a third of Brits visit the country with a tour operator. The destination has been working with


operators and training them via visits, webinars and road shows to make sure they are attracting the targeted clients. Hamilton said training tourist businesses in Ecuador helped ensure they were delivering the levels of service expected by the higher end markets. He added that the policy was


particularly visible in the Galapagos Islands where three of the fleet of about 60 ships have been replaced by new, luxurious vessels. “We don’t want 100,000 people in the Galapagos – what we will see in the next few years and the long term strategy is to improve the spend without increasing the visitor numbers.”


coastal and aquatic experiences and we’re overlaying these with great food and wine [following the Restaurant Australia campaign].”


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