Regional Highlights: Domestic Q2
The regional highlights looks at the results for several regions from both a tactical and strategic perspective and considers the relevant state impact. The reports are available on a paid subscription basis for all regions, within the normal data limits.
Download ATR Market View: Gold Coast Interstate Holiday Visitors, YE Jun 2018
The Gold Coast remains locked into a long term decline. The solution is known, however political interference and a lack of an informed strategy has resulted in ineffective marketing that not only ignores market realities, but actually amplifies negative stereotypes. It is difficult to see how the current direction can change the reality of consumer perceptions.
Gold Coast Tactical Market View
In FY18, the number of Interstate Holiday Visitors to the Gold Coast saw negative growth - down 0.8% compared to FY17. The good news is this was less than the drop from FY16 to FY17. The interesting point is that these figures include the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April 2018. (Look out for a future ATR review of the Gold Coast and the Commonwealth Games.)
Queensland Loss Impacts Gold Coast
With a total of 976,000 interstate holiday visitors in FY18, the Gold Coast is still more than 200,000 down on its peak of more than ten years ago, in FY08. In 2013, the Gold Coast attracted 45% of all Interstate Holiday Visitors to Queensland, in FY18 this share had declined to 35%. This drop is further compounded by the fact that Queensland's share of all Interstate Holiday Visitors has also dropped - from 28.8 in FY08 to 23.8 in FY18.
Gold Coast Strategic Market View
Between 2013 and 2015, the Gold Coast lost significant numbers of interstate visitors. Though this decline was slowed in 2015, the Gold Coast has not shown any sign of being able to make up the lost ground. Since 2016 however, both the Gold Coast and Queensland overall, have shown a steady decline in Interstate Holiday Visitors whilst the overall market has consistently increased. The effect on visitor nights over time was not as pronounced, however the inability for Gold Cost or Queensland to reverse the decline continued.
The resulting impact on visitor expenditure was significant. The Gold Coast and Queensland have not been able to reach the the same growth rate as the overall market since 2011. This was further compounded by a large decline in their market share of expenditure. The difference was that if the Gold Coast had maintained the 41.8% share of Interstate Holiday Visitor Spend it had in 2009, they would have seen an additional $560m in expenditure.
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Download ATR Market View: Outback Interstate Holiday Visitors, YE Jun 2018
There are good signs for the Outback and it may be symbolic of the direction of travel consumers. The shift to the iconic experience based product with its innate raw authenticity is in line with a slew of other indicators. It is a shame the STO is unable or unwilling to hear the increasingly strident voice of the consumer and responds only to real or perceived political whisperings.
Outback Tactical Market View
The sample size of the Outback has limited some of the specific data, however using three year averages provides some of the broader indicators. The Triple Treat of good growth in visitors, nights and spend, underscores the strength of the current growth. The broader slow down in interstate holiday travel may have an impact over the next year.
Queensland Goes for Intrastate Voters Rather Than Interstate Visitors
In ten years, Queensland has increased its interstate holiday visitors just 2% with Q2 2018 numbers only slightly higher than 2009. Intrastate holiday visitors have increased by more than 12%. Other states however, have been able to increase their interstate holiday visitors by almost 25%. The increasing focus on the government's electoral concerns rather than commercial returns is now quite blatant and becoming unseemly.
Outback Strategic Market View
The ability of the Outback to have a higher growth rate in interstate holiday visitors than both the state and national outcome is a significant result and should be recognised. The Queensland share of interstate holiday visitors has declined further, however the task was further complicated by the decline in the interstate share of all holiday visitors nationally. The impact of the longer average length of stay of interstate visitors can be seen in the Outback results with the sharp lift in both growth and share in the last 2-3 years.
Download ATR Market View: Reg Vic Interstate Holiday Visitors, YE Jun 2018
The investment in the demand side continues to pay off for Victoria. As one of the few states with a hard target for tourism growth in their regions, the Victorian approach is working and is a salutary lesson to other states - though a little late for some!
Regional Victoria Tactical Market View
The regional result also highlights the shift in the travelling consumer away from the metro centres, beaches and resorts, to smaller regions with authentic and interesting experiences. Each metric shows the regional result has outstripped the state result.
Victoria Gets it Right for its Regions
The momentum that has been built over the last 3-4 years is paying off in spades for the Victorian tourism industry. It is a lesson often forgotten at state level that changing consumer perceptions and taste takes time - and then has to be constantly nurtured to maintain the momentum.
Regional Victoria Strategic Market View
The long term, proximity and symmetry of the strategic results for Regional Victoria, Victoria overall as well as the national growth, show the level of focus over time. One issue that needs attention is visitor nights. The regional share of nights has just returned to 2009 levels and appears unsettled. Although the spend share has increased, the share of nights needs to increase as well to avoid stalling the growth in all three metrics. Nights are a key element in regional growth.