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Heady boost for Australian tourism
Record growth fuelled by burgeoning number
of Asian visitors.
Australia’s tourism sector is fying as the boom in middle-class
consumption in Asia drives an infux of international visitors to this
market. Records are being broken, and it looks like the start of a
longer trend as Chinese and Indian tourists fock to our shores.
The number of international visitors to Australia rose seven per cent
to 6.7 million in the year ending September 2015. The latest
Tourism Research Australia fgures show that international
visitors stayed an extra 22 million nights in Australia, and spent
13 per cent more than in the previous year.
Ten of Australia's top 20 international tourism markets had record
growth. 'Australia is experiencing a period of sustained and strong
growth in international tourism, which is seeing records continue to be
set,' says Tourism Australia.
Education tourism is particularly strong. Visitations of international
students to Australia rose 19 per cent over the year. International
tourists visiting relatives and friends rose eight per cent, and holiday
visitors were three per cent higher. Business travellers were
Chinese inbound tourism stood out. Chinese tourists accounted for
22 per cent of inbound visitations, up from seven per cent in 2006.
The Asian region now contributes 51 cents of every dollar spent by
international tourists in Australia, from 39 cents in 2006.
Victoria performed strongly. International tourists spent $6.2 billion, up
28 per cent on the previous year. An 11 per cent increase in visitations
to 2.31 million suggests that Victoria's tourism industry is excelling in
cross-promoting its attractions and encouraging tourists to stay longer
and spend more. New South Wales enjoyed a 15 per cent increase in
spending by international tourists.
Gains in inbound tourism are a tailwind for several ASX-listed stocks.
Sydney Airport is trading at near record highs amid strong growth in
international and domestic travel. Casino operator Star Entertainment
Group is benefting from growth in Chinese tourism at its Sydney,
Brisbane and Gold Coast operations. Shares in cruise-ship operator
Seal Link Travel Group rallied in February after a better-than-expected
proft, and amid signs of stronger demand for its tourism services.
This trend could have much further to run. The OECD expects a global
middle class of 4.9 billion by 2030, from 1.8 billion in 2009. Two-thirds
of the new middle class will be Asian.
That could mean another two billion Asian consumers on our doorstep
with the purchasing power to buy more food, clothes and services
within 15 years. Australia's travel, education, agriculture and services
industries are ideally positioned to capitalise on this growth -- creating
opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Accenture identifed fve emerging technology trends for 2016:
1. Intelligent automation: The next wave of technology solutions,
powered by artifcial intelligence, will gather record amounts of data
from disparate systems. Companies will have to weave systems, data
and people together to create solutions that fundamentally change the
organisation as the digital economy takes hold.
2. Liquid workforce: As companies invest more in technology, they
risk falling behind in a critical factor: their workforce. The key is
harnessing the technology to enable staf to succeed, and to create an
adaptable, change-ready, responsive workforce.
3. Platform economy: Accenture says the next wave of disruptive
innovation will arise from technology-enabled, platform-driven
ecosystems that shape industries. Companies will need to rethink
how they create adaptable, scalable and interconnected platforms for
a digital economy.
4. Predictable disruption: Many companies will underestimate the
transformational efect of the digital economy on their industry,
says Accenture. As new technology ecosystems produce predictable
disruption, entire industries and market segments will be redefned
5. Digital trust: As new technology creates potent digital-risk issues,
companies will have to build digital trust with consumers like never
before, argues Accenture. Powerful digital security systems will
go beyond technology perimeter security and incorporate a strong
commitment and ethical standards for data.
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