REGIONAL TOURISM IS EXPLODING! Tilma Take-Outs – Deloitte Tourism & Hotel Market Outlook Report

In August 2016, Deloitte released the Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook report and Linda Tillman from Tilma Group has prepared some key take-outs and how they may effect regional and rural destinations.

  • Tourism continues to be one of the shining lights for the Australian economy.


  • Domestic travel posted its strongest growth since records began nearly two decades ago.
  • Domestic visitor numbers have grown for the 20th successive quarter (year-on-year) and are growing at their fastest pace in nearly two decades. In all likelihood, domestic visitation is growing at its fastest pace in a considerably longer period, but the record books only stretch back so far!
  • Australians’ love of holidaying at home has the trend growth of around 9% being the fastest on record and adding an additional 3 million trips to the domestic holiday market annually. 
  • Visitation to regional holiday hotspots grew faster than to capital cities (9.1% versus 5.9%),
  • an acceleration of trends evident since the GFC. 
  • As a further indication of this strength, air traffic to regional and leisure areas grew at 9% and 10% respectively over the last three years, compared to only 5% on inter-capital routes. 
  • Domestic trips are forecast to grow at 3.3% p.a. and visitor nights at 3.2% p.a. on average over the next three years, as buoyant holiday travel offsets a softer domestic corporate outlook. 


  • Huge growth in leisure travel to Australia saw international visitor numbers surge 10% over
  • the year to June – the fastest rate of growth since the mid-1990s.
  • In the past year, international visitor expenditure has grown by 17.6% – more than double the 7.9% average of the past few years. Combined with domestic activity, tourism expenditure grew by 7.6% in total over the past year – more than three times faster than the overall economy. 
  • Visitor arrivals from China continued to dominate the inbound tourism profile thanks to a further acceleration in the rate of arrivals growth to 22.2% in year-on-year terms. 
  • International visitor trips and visitor nights are forecast to grow at 6.2% p.a. on average over the next three years, with emerging Asia – and China especially – continuing to be the driving force. 

So, what does this mean for regional destinations and events?

With domestic tourism so strong, and forecasts predicting it to remain this way for the next three years, regional destinations and events are presented with an immense opportunity!
Destinations and events with a strategic marketing plan that provides a clear understanding of the domestic source markets will position themselves well for the next three years. A tourism and events strategy will help ensure everyone is working together and striving for a common vision.

Experience development should be part of any plan – the development of itineraries, suggested journeys and packages to help domestic travellers understand a destination or event and make holiday planning simple. The continual development of your product and experience will encourage repeat visitation, positive word of mouth (including digital word of mouth), new PR opportunities and social media exposure.

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Working together with other operators, Local Government, Regional Tourism Organisations and Local Tourism Organisations to deliver strategic marketing campaigns will be the best thing regional destinations and events can do. Do not compete with your neighbour - you can all have a piece of this pie! 

Here’s cheers to the next three years!

Kushla GaleComment