The Changing Face of Australia’s Tourist Destinations

Few would argue that Australia is thoroughly deserving of the prominence it enjoys as one of the world’s best tourist destinations. Australia is a country of great variety and diversity and offers an incredible range of holiday options and possibilities.

Popular tourist activities: Great Ocean Road tours and beyond

Parts of Australia have been popular with tourists for many years — the dynamic city of Sydney, the mysterious and culturally significant Uluru and the fun and excitement of the Gold Coast, to name just a few. However, recent trends have shown that Australia’s most favoured and frequented tourist destinations are changing. While activities such as a Melbourne tour, Great Ocean Road tour and beachside vacation continue to be popular with holidaymakers, people are visiting Australia for many different reasons and purposes.

Increased demand in capital cities:

Predominantly a result of a volatile and unreliable economy, the spending patterns of Australian and overseas visitors have changed and created variable conditions within the tourism industry. In particular, there has been a high demand for hotel accommodation in capital cities, a trend that has been most profound with overseas visitors and business travellers from Australia and international countries.

With increased demand for accommodation in capital cities, it is apparent that tourists are basing themselves in capital cities or using cities as a starting point to plan activities further afield. Enjoying a Melbourne tour, Sydney tour or tour of any other capital city is a great way for a visitor to be introduced and get a taste of what is on offer in these cosmopolitan cities, each of which has an energy and character all of its own.

Regional areas:

In recent times, there has been a mixed demand for tourism in regional areas of Australia. A strong demand for accommodation and other services has been observed in some regional towns and cities, including those where mining enjoys prominence.

As many people would expect, perennially popular areas for tourism (such as the Blue Mountains, the Barossa Valley and Phillip Island) have continued to be favoured on the itineraries of people visiting Australia.

What do tourists want?

James Packer has recently and quite controversially claimed that Australia needs to be doing more than promoting itself as a place of kangaroos and beaches. Instead, he believes that international visitors desire a city experience with built features and he believes that Australia should be promoting its cities and the features they have to offer (including state of the art casinos, shopping centres and restaurants) to groups such as the Asian middle class.

However, others argue that what makes Australia different and what continues to draw international visitors to our shores is that we offer unique and special sights and experiences, including incredible beaches, amazing wines and wine growing regions, flora and fauna that is markedly different to anywhere else in the world, and sun-drenched landscapes. These natural features continue to be interesting to people visiting Australia from so many parts of the world.

However, Packer’s argument does present an opportunity for Australian cities to more effectively market themselves. Australia’s capital cities each have a unique charm and character and have typically been undersold.

Australia remains a popular tourist destination and a favourite destination of many people who have previously travelled to the country. Changes are being noticed in the ways people choose to visit and spend their time in this country, and this is leading to new opportunities for Australian tourism.

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