Coming out of COVID – The State of the Visitor Economy Recovery

Richard Tenser

Looking at the unfolding situation of domestic and international border reopening’s, it’s clear to see that there is still a fair amount on uncertainty about the future of tourism in Australia. The tourism industry is forecast to face a challenging period for the next three to 12 months, with government providing stimulus to boost the post-covid recovery of the Australian visitor economy.

 

With data collected from a survey of more than 500 businesses by Newgate Research for TTF, sentiment of travel dependent businesses compared to other industries remains poor, not only in the short but also the long term, for the nation’s once lucrative sector. 

 

Recovery Strategies

Across Australia, state tourism voucher stimulus programmes have, and continue to provide invaluable short-term economic relief, an industry lifeline. South Australian Tourism Commission’s (SATC) Great State Voucher generated an impressive $4.31 for every dollar spent and an estimated $90 million injected into the state’s economy so far, an incredible return on investment whilst helping to keep businesses open and staff employed in a challenging time. 

 

Employing Nabooki’s modern and intuitive booking platform and marketplace, the Great State Voucher programme offers customers a seamless user journey and booking interface experience, which South Australia credits for the record redemption rates achieved. Consumers could easily book their preferred product experience, check availability ahead of booking vouchers and modify bookings, creating an effortless customer booking journey, increasing voucher redemption to a record 67%. 

 

As stimulus packages scale up to meet the changing Aussie travel landscape, businesses also need to employ longer term strategies to drive more business opportunities, and not only survive the next 12 months but adapt to changing demands and tourism drivers. 

 

State of the Industry

Supporting this, Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s (Austrade) industry report** states COVID recovery must also position the visitor economy to drive through the next decade. Australia’s visitor economy must now, in the wake of covid, ‘build its future by diversifying its source markets, modernising its offer, assets and workforce, and collaborating at all levels to do so’. Modernising assets is inextricably linked to technology, specifically utilising more innovative, efficient systems to enhance user experience. 

 

Additionally, across all sectors covid has accelerated consumer maturity when it comes to searching and booking online, with Aussie’s more familiar using apps and tech in everyday hospitality instances. As a result, businesses have been encouraged to take more bookings online across the board, with consumers more engaged online than ever before. The time is now for the Australian tourism market to modernise its online booking functionality, as offered by Nabooki product, and capitalise on the opportunity of online demand, for short term recovery and long term longevity.

 

Source:

* ‘One in three tourism businesses facing extinction within next three months’, October 2021, Tourism and Transport Forum 

** ‘Opportunities for the Visitor Economy, Summary Report’ June 2021, Australian Trade and Investment Commission 

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