There is no doubt. The science is in. Covid-19 sucks. I don’t seek to quantify the impact of Covid-19 on tourism. We know the impact is HUGE! But that doesn’t mean everyone is affected to the same degree. It is cliché to suggest that every crisis also represents opportunity, but that’s because it’s true.
So, where is the opportunity for Australian regional tourism in a post Covid-19 world? Well first, let’s accept that the Australian love of the holiday is unlikely to be dented by the virus, in fact the isolation factor has search volumes for leisure destinations through the roof! Sure, this year those holidays will be different, especially for those Australians who would normally venture overseas as the first available chance. This is the $15 billion silver bullet for Covid-19 affected regional Australian holiday destinations.
According to the AFTA Travel Trends Report in 2018 Australian took over 11 million international trips with approximately 80% of those for holiday or visiting family and friends. Almost six million of those international trips were taken between July and December 2018. That is over 5 million travellers who will now be staying in Australia and considering a domestic holiday over the next six months. An unprecedented opportunity.
The secret to converting those outbound international travellers to visit your region lays in the fundamentals of marketing. First seek to understand what experiences those travellers are missing out on and orient your offering to suit the traveller. Personalisation will be key!.
Australia’s top 2 international destinations are New Zealand and Indonesia (mainly Bali). Do we have experiences in Australia to compete with these? Of course we do! From the South Australian Wine Country, Victoria’s exceptional food scene, the Great Dividing Range of New South Wales, Western Australia’s pristine never ending beaches, sixty thousand years of culture in the NT, prehistoric dinosaur fossils in Queensland, and the unique natural flora and fauna in Tassie there is so much of Australia to see with only a small percentage of regular outbound international travellers scratching the surface.
Whilst COVID-19 has certainly been destructive to our economy in the short term, the travel restrictions put in place have also provided a unique and unprecedented opportunity to win tourism share from international markets to domestic offerings. You have six months to make the most of it.
To find out more about this new target audience and how to engage them, enter your email address below and we will be in touch.