Quarterly, Issue 1 June 2006
China? Is it really
worth the gamble?
The mile high
club It just keeps getting bigger
Protecting an international
Cutting through the clutter
Our place on the world stage
A moving target
The magazine of Australiaâ€™s inbound tourism in ndustry: an official Australian Tourism Export Council publication
with thetouring experts
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atx: the content
atx: from the MD
On the record Your say on the tourism industry
Interview At the table with Fran Bailey
China? Is it really worth the gamble?
The mile high club
Dear industry colleague Welcome to the first edition of ATEC’s new flagship magazine, atx: (Australian Tourism Exporter - taking Australian tourism to the world). atx: is an illustration of ATEC’s drive to provide new services for our members, and is part of a stable of dynamic initiatives including a new website and a new online learning facility. Nothing like atx: currently exists in the tourism trade area and we hope that it will provide a platform for articles that are wellresearched, interesting, insightful, fun and even controversial. This is your magazine and we hope it will be part of the cement that binds us together as a “community of interest”.
It just keeps getting bigger
Beautiful one day... Protecting an international wonder
Cutting through the clutter Australia’s place on the world stage
atx: spotlight Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb
atx: business case Skyrail
The backpacker effect A moving target
As well as providing an informative service to our members, we plan for atx: to be a key part of our relationship with our external stakeholders. We hope that politicians, bureaucrats, commentators, investors, students and gossips will view atx: as the magazine that sits on the top of the desk rather than the bottom of the in-tray. We hope that its pages become dog-eared and tattered from being passed around. To that end, our pledge is to provide you with plenty of information and to avoid the boring “message from the CEO” pro-forma columns typical of trade magazines. We hope atx: will be the one mag you take with you in your briefcase as you jet off for another famil or workshop. I would like to thank ATEC’s National Media and Communications Manager, Kerri Anderson and Rob Sampson from ATEC member company, Sampson Communications Australia, for turning this dream into a reality. Now it’s over to you – please enjoy atx:. Read it, contribute to it and, most importantly, encourage your company to support it. Your feedback would be appreciated. Please email me at email@example.com. Kind regards Matthew Hingerty Managing Director Australian Tourism Export Council
Tourism heroes Bob Lunnon
What happens on tour... Social stuff
Upcoming events Quarterly calendar
Export ready Here we come - ready or not!
What have we been up to? ATEC at work
Useful stuff Information for better business decisions
04 05 06 10 13 16 20 21 22 24 26 26 27 28 29
atx: is published by Sampson Communications Australia on behalf of the Australian Tourism Export Council. Managing Director Managing Editor Editor Art Director Layout Project Manager Advertising Sales Editorial Enquiries Subscription Enquiries Advertising Enquiries Websites
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atx: on the record The most important issue affecting the Australian tourism export industry today is: Japan and the continued diminishing returns for operators in that market. While itâ€™s being addressed through the Action Plan on Japan, all Iâ€™m seeing is declining numbers and yield. Also, the national operator and guide accreditation hasnâ€™t moved forward â€“ whatever happened to the White Paper recommendations â€“ especially guide accreditation in relation to China? Fleur Ulbrick Australian Pacific Touring, National Increased international flights. We just donâ€™t have enough international carriers into Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Iâ€™m going to Hawaii shortly, and I have to lay over in Sydney - and I assume our customers coming to Melbourne from Hawaii are experiencing the same. I think we make it hard for customers to get to Australia. Kaye Harris Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Victoria The way the distribution system is critically changing. The advent of the web has changed the way that we work with distribution, especially ITOs and, to a lesser extent, the wholesalers. This is influencing our advertising spend, inventory and pricing to the channel, and this is creating problems; for example, our ability to respond to on-the-spot demand. Lyndon Baker Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary, New South Wales
The inbound tourism figures particularly from China (and India) are all well and good and it is encouraging to see that the India and China markets are going to lead the charge in the years to come. However, what is more important is what will be the direct commercial impact on Australian product and services. Increasing tourist numbers is one thing â€“ building commercially profitable and viable business for Australian product and services is the issue that really matters. After all that is why we are all in business!! David Lyons Australian Farm Tourism Group, National Ongoing growth in inbound tourism is impacted upon by air capacity constraints from some major markets. In particular from North America and some of the key Asian markets. Mathias Friess Virgin Blue, National Rising fuel prices threatens the future of the entire industry. Every segment â€“ car companies, airlines, cruises and charter companies - is heavily reliant on fuel and our international competitiveness is being severely compromised by this increasing cost. James Rhinesmith Cobb & Co, Victoria Email your say to email@example.com
atx: the contributors Anders LindstrĂśm Anders is the former features editor of Travel Week. His travel pieces have appeared in the Sun Herald, The Age, Voyages magazine and The Courier-Mail.
Ben Sandilands Ben Sandilands has reported airline affairs for 36 years. His contributions appear in The Australian Financial Review, Aviation Business Asia Pacific, and overseas publications served by the Guardian & Observer News service.
Christine Retschlag Christine has 17 yearsâ€™ domestic and international media experience including 13 years as a News Limited journalist in Australia and overseas, with Tourism Queensland and most recently as a freelance travel writer.
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Kerri Anderson Kerri began her career as a newspaper journalist, and has extensive experience in marketing and corporate communications. Kerri is also ATECâ€™s Media and Communications Manager.
Lee Mylne Lee is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist who has specialised in writing about travel and tourism for a range of consumer and trade magazines around Australia for the past 15 years.
Ria Voorhaar Ria is an award-winning freelance journalist with a passion for travel and tourism. In 2004, she was named the Australian Society of Travel Writersâ€™ trade journalist of the year.
atx: the interview
“Who the bloody hell are you?” After 18 months learning the ropes, Federal Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey was thrust into the international spotlight thanks to Tourism Australia’s cheeky new advertising campaign.
“The immense power that that mystical place has, you can feel the spirit. ”I was blown away by it. “I believe people should not be climbing it.”
In February, Bailey dashed to the UK in a desperate bid to save the “Where The Bloody Hell Are You?” campaign from Blighty’s censors. ‘Mission accomplished’, Bailey told atx: as she returned home to applause from the industry and general public alike. “People have come up to me in the street, in hotels, in the airports, and are saying thank you,” Bailey said. “Wherever they’re from the comments are the same, they appreciate that someone is standing up for this, that someone is prepared to put up a fight. “I think people want a minister like that.” From big guns to this industry’s big three of rock, reef and rainforest, Bailey acknowledged that the switch from assisting the defence minister to tourism had seen her take a steep learning curve. “But I live in the Yarra Valley which is an iconic tourism location, so it hasn’t been that foreign to me,” Bailey said. She said she loved the diversity of experience Australia offers tourists – naming Uluru, the Atherton Tablelands, the Daintree rainforest, Broome and Tasmania’s Derwent River as favourite spots. “I first went to UIuru last year and I am still shocked by the emotional experience I had,” Bailey said.
“I want to see [industry communications] take on more of a think tank forum to provide me with advice,” she said.
As a result of her experience, Bailey has pushed forward a plan to construct a boardwalk around the base of the sacred Aboriginal site and has made her feelings about respecting the wishes of the traditional owners known. Closer to her Yarra Valley home, Bailey said she regularly took visiting guests to the Healesville Sanctuary and the Tarrawarra Museum of Art which she described as “world class”. “The drive out to the Yarra Valley from Melbourne alone is majestic,” she said. She said the Sanctuary allowed visitors to learn more about the native fauna of Australia in their natural environment. “And then we’d go to one of the lovely boutique wineries here in the Yarra Valley for lunch,” she said. “The local people here are fantastic – they’re extremely friendly and I think that makes the Yarra Valley one of the best places for tourism.
Also on the horizon is a review of the Tourism White Paper. “Ultimately the government has to check on its return on investment,” Bailey said. Although Bailey has an extremely confident exterior, the mother of two adult daughters said her career as a politician has been far from smooth sailing. Drawn to politics from a successful career as a Cashmere goat breeder and exporter, retailer and business consultant, because of a desire to make a difference, she was initially elected to Parliament in 1990 as part of the John Hewson opposition. “After three months, I was given responsibility for GST Mark I and pretty soon I became known as ‘Mrs GST’,” Bailey said. “And I was in a very marginal seat, so as a result of backlash over the GST policy, I lost my seat in 1993. “People often say it was a meteoric rise and an equally spectacular fall.” Despite the disappointment, Bailey climbed back on the political horse and was re-elected in 1996.
”That’s what Australia is all about.” Now that she has settled into what she describes as the “very challenging” tourism portfolio, Bailey said she would review the way she communicated with the industry in the next 12 months.
Since then, her career trajectory has been at a much safer angle and has shown no sign of peaking. ■
atx: the cover story
We have been hearing the figures for years. Most serious players in this industry can reel them off in their sleep – by 2014, China will be Australia’s largest tourism market, providing 1.13 million visitors, worth up to $7.4 billion a year. With most of Australia’s other major markets – such as the UK and Singapore - maturing at a rapid rate and competition for tourists always on the rise, China - with its annual visitor growth rate projected to be in the mid to high teens until 2014 – stands out like a new vein in an old goldmine. Naturally, the accompanying gold rush has been as quick as it has been brutal.
Well-documented cases of “rogue operators” - who have won business by undercutting the market and relying on commissions paid by duty-free shops and packing no-cost activities, like walking on beaches, into itineraries in order to survive - have gained the attention of the media and politicians alike. Despite recent crackdowns by the federal and Queensland governments, industry commentators claim these rogue players have continued to flourish, and as a result, established Australian inbound tour operators (ITOs) are focusing less and less on the Chinese group leisure market. Given these problems, some ITOs, such as Australian Tours Management and The AOT Group, have been angling exclusively for higher-yielding incentive, FIT and corporate business.
China? Is it really worth the gamble? by Ria Voorhaar
china? is it really worth the gamble?
Bee Ho Teow, joint managing director of Australian Tours Management, said her company had been bringing Chinese tourists here before Australia became one of the first countries to be granted Approved Destination Status in 1999. (Approved Destination Status allows Chinese citizens to more easily visit Australia as part of tour groups by granting them restricted special visas to enter the country. The number of ADS visitor visas issued has risen from 55,897 in the 1997-98 financial year to 195,892 in 2004-05.) “We were one of the first into this market, bringing Chinese people here on educational tours, and now because of the cheap prices we have walked away from the leisure market and have chosen to focus on the incentive market,” Teow said. “The knowledge of Australian product in China is so low, that it is impossible to be visible against those cut-price operators.” “We live in hope that there are little pockets of yield in this market. If you can afford not to, you would ignore this market.” The AOT Group has recently decided to enter the Chinese market and will target FIT and incentive business. Although the company became the 51st Australian company to be granted ADS status, which allows The AOT Group to apply for tourist visas on behalf of Chinese travellers, group director of sales and marketing, Gary Paterson, said he would not target that business.
“It is a problem because Chinese travellers still want to shop in these Chinese duty free stores, and these stores are the ones that are paying overrides,” he said.
“They’re the ones that want good quality hotels, they’re the ones building the yield side of the market and it’s there for the taking if people want to make that commitment.”
Chung Pak Travel Services General Manager - Inbound, Nelson Chau said his company relied on its connections in Hong Kong for the leisure business it received from the China market – currently up 10 to 15 per cent of its total sales.
Colahan’s enthusiasm for the corporate section of the Chinese market is tempered by his pessimism about leisure.
This business is handled outside the ADS system.
But if the rogue operators are allowed to continue to bring tourists to Australia, there is a real danger that this country’s share of the Chinese market will not reach its full potential.
“The China agents all say ‘Nelson you are too expensive’ and they tell me I regularly charge double what operators out of China do for what is the same package,” Chau said. Peter Colahan, who was behind the mammoth effort to bring out 13,600 Amway
“They will keep coming, but no one will make any money out of it,” he said.
It was likely to be affected by what AOT’s Paterson claimed were “very high complaint levels” from Chinese tourists returning home. This would damage Australia’s reputation and
“We live in hope that there are little pockets of yield in this market. If you can afford not to, you would ignore this market.” incentive winners from China last January, has formed a consultancy, Business Tourism Australia, to provide advice to suppliers keen to crack this formidable market. “The business market is exciting, there is real potential there,” Colahan said.
push the market to competing destinations such as western Europe, the US and Canada. “We can’t just assume they will keep coming,” Australian Tour Management’s Bee Ho Teow said. In June last year, the Federal Government introduced more stringent controls for ADS page 7
operators in a bid to stamp out the rogue element in the market.
Queensland was the first jurisdiction to try to introduce such a watchdog.
Federal Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said changes included requiring company directors to pass a test deeming them “fit and proper” and the strengthening of the ADS code with reference to shopping commissions.
The state’s Tourism Minister Margaret Keech, said since the Tourism Services Act was passed in December 2003, the new laws had succeeded in pushing some rogue operators out of business. Compliance activities included having teams of Office of Fair Trading investigators flag down Chinese tour busses to interview tourists and check actual itineraries matched the ones lodged with government agencies.
Those references include requirements for “commission shopping to be matched with free shopping time in competitive retail areas prior to commission shopping”; “commissions to be declared and subject to an audit trail”; “no improper influence on tour quality or value through commission”; and “tourists to be alerted to commission shopping venues in their itineraries”. While ATEC and ITOs such as The AOT Group welcomed the move, Chau claimed it had done little to bring parity between ‘dodgy’ operators and legitimate Australian companies. “They still say we’re too expensive,” he said. “Of course, we are not happy about the situation, but you can’t stop them 100 per cent.” Teow said for all the new conditions, the industry still lacked a watchdog with teeth to enforce the rules. She has called for a stringent financial auditing process to be included in the ADS annual renewal. page 8
The agents also pass out brochures in Mandarin and Cantonese explaining tourists are free to shop anywhere they choose and that in Australia it is free to visit beaches. “I believe this is sending a message back to China that this is not something that Queensland tolerates,” she said.
Twelve months later, Bailey told ATX that the federal legislation was “a work in progress”. “It is not that easy,” Bailey said. “Western Australia, in particular, has said that they don’t feel there is a need for national legislation.” Nevertheless, if the ADS crackdown and the Chinese market blossoms as it should, some in the industry are more concerned that Australia will not have the infrastructure necessary to support such a boom in tourism. “How many hotels in this country have Mandarin-speaking people in key positions and menus in Mandarin?,” Colahan asks. “I’ll tell you. None. “We did a brilliant job servicing the Japanese market when it was emerging in the 1980s and we are just not seeing that being done for the Chinese market.
“How many hotels in this country have Mandarinspeaking people in key positions and menus in Mandarin?,” he asks. “I’ll tell you. None.” Following Queensland’s initial success, Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey promised – originally at the ATEC Symposium in April 2005 – that national legislation would follow.
“This is a market that is a long, long way from maturing like the Japanese market has.” But Keech said destinations such as Surfers Paradise had learnt from the “over-the-top
china? is it really worth the gamble? Little Tokyo” attitude adopted in the height of the Japanese tourism boom. “I think that level of support is there, it is just more discreet and I think this new approach will help us move the market to a more mature, FIT thing,” she said.
TAFEs and there was a large workforce with language abilities which tourism could recruit from, but I have not seen classes full of students learning Mandarin,” Colahan said. Of course, for every negative there is a success story.
“People are cutting each other’s throats trying to get at China – seeing who will be there in the long-run will be interesting.” “[But] we need to talk to the private sector about getting more five star hotels in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.” The Federal Government has also addressed the problem in its emerging markets strategy for China, which was released last December. The strategy document also identified a major lack of Mandarin-speakers in Australia to service the Chinese market. “We made a huge effort in the 1980s to get Japanese language into schools and
Over a ten year period, Victorian historical theme park Sovereign Hill has focused on developing its share of the Chinese market, according to international marketing manager Nigel Aldons. Since introducing maps, audio visual guides, and signage in Cantonese and Mandarin, hiring foreign language guides and developing a specific audio visual presentation, the Chinese market has grown from nothing to become its largest overseas market accounting for 30 percent of the park’s international visitors.
With most major inbound tour operators opting out of the Chinese leisure market, it seems the tourism industry and governments need to ask themselves whether Australia can sustain the damage rogue operators are doing to our international reputation. Chau said Chung Pak’s hope for the China market was that education of the trade there would improve and they would direct their clients to quality Australian operators. At the place where the Australian gold rush started, Sovereign Hill’s international marketing manager Nigel Aldons noted that many operators were looking to China for a “quick buck”, just like many looked to Ballarat in the 1850s. “People are cutting each other’s throats trying to get at China – seeing who will be there in the long run will be interesting,” he said. “It has got a lot of potential but you have got to work hard at it.” ■
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mile high club
by Ben Sandilands
When the Qantas board endorsed the Jetstar International venture last December it set in motion a profound change in the relationship between airlines and tourism. What have traditionally been short-term or intermittent joint marketing exercises are about to be overtaken by the need to use personal discretionary travel as the principal source of the growth that is essential for feeding unprecedented investments in new fleets. The industry relationship with Qantas, and Singapore Airlines as the next largest historic supporter of the state and more recently national tourism authorities, has always been valuable but sporadic.
The Dreamliners kick in from late 2008 midway through an initial $10 billion capital expenditure program that began earlier in the decade, lead by orders for the Airbus A380. Further tranches of orders, worth up to another $10 billion have been foreshadowed, bringing the commitments to the aggressive reconstruction of the Qantas fleet to an overall $27-30 billion, all entered into over a five year period. Nor is this just a Qantas phenomenon.
It consisted of predominantly short-term cooperative promotions measured in single millions, inbound and outbound, and often coinciding with actual or forecast softness in the overall demand for air travel.
Comparable re-equipment and expansion programs are underway at Emirates and Singapore Airlines---the two most dynamic competitors directly faced by Qantas on its international routes.
But the placing of a $9.7 billion commitment for up to 115 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for both Jetstar International and Qantas signals change, as does the overseas ambitions of Virgin Blue.
China-based carriers, hungry for what is forecast to be a major source of future large scale visitations to Australia, are being courted by Airbus and Boeing for significant longer range fleet purchases, now that the excitement of their collectively buying 300 more single aisle jets for their domestic expansion has passed.
Now that Australian Airlines is to be absorbed by Qantas, the 300 seat class jets will lead the dual brand push of Qantas and Jetstar International on new and secondary routes while the giant A380s that start flying next year to Los Angeles and London will address trunk route capacity limitations.
If or when Qantas faces a trans Pacific entry by a Virgin Blue division it may have different investors to those that now own its domestic and Pacific Blue operations.
the mile high club Informed speculation has mentioned Temasek Holdings, the largest shareholder in Singapore Airlines, yet also a key player in Orangestar (the holding entity for the Qantas investment in Jetstar Asia and Valuair of Singapore) as well as SQ’s competing venture in Tiger Airways. Whether this really happens doesn’t matter so much as the fact that serious sources of equity for new air transport models exist in a part of the world where the India, China and central Asia markets are immature and a fraction of their potential size within 20-30 years. An extraordinary amount of money is being spent regionally in an astonishingly short interval on an industry that globally loses money on a profligate scale. It is betting on an upside of a scale that is not apparent in the established originating markets of North America, Europe and Australia. Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and two of the world’s most successful new entrants, Virgin Blue and AirAsia are stand out performers and fierce competitors. They have a few things in common. They make good money, they expect to fail if they stumble, and however bluntly or subtly they say so, they are not always believed. While no one is claiming that business, or personal non-leisure travel, is about to become as unimportant as tourism once was, a secular change in share, and the areas in which the greatest margins are made, is undeniably under way. As far back as 1986, then Chief Executive of British Airways, Colin Marshall, was giving interviews forecasting that air transport growth in the new century would mainly come from non-business travellers. This did not stop Marshall and his successors at British Airways nor its competitors and imitators from resolutely pursuing the gradually shrinking business travel sector. But Marshall countered surprise at this prediction by suggesting that over time the size of business deals would tend to grow per individual per trip, rather than require more individuals, while the number of individuals who could afford to fly for personal reasons would rise more rapidly than the ranks of corporate sky warriors. It was an elegant paradigm, if not 100 percent right in hindsight. It didn’t recognise a tiny Southwest Airlines that is now the largest airline in the world by passengers boarded. Nor did it foresee Ryanair or our own Virgin Blue, whose founding chief executive Brett Godfrey is making hay of late with a totally new form of business traveller, the selfemployed professionals and SMEs who have discovered they can afford to fly as often as the big end of town.
After seeing Virgin Blue grow as fast as it could get jets after the Ansett collapse, Qantas took the evolution of low-cost carrier models so seriously that it became not only the first legacy carrier to successfully gain market synergies with its own LCC brand in Jetstar, but the first to announce it would extend that model on to longer-haul international routes. Note that the first 10 Dreamliners, and over time, between 40-50 percent of those on firm order, are not being used to replace the existing capacity of Qantas 767s that dominate its business oriented Cityflyer routes, but to serve NEW international customers on routes Qantas has either given up on in the past, or never regarded as viable. There is a corollary with the Ryanair model. It also flies between hopeless god-forsaken airports that the established European carriers had either abandoned or considered laughable, except that it most recently reported an operating margin of 22 percent, and they aren’t laughing anymore. Surprisingly little recognition is given within this industry to the strategic changes of direction taken by the Qantas carriers and the business models of its most potent competitors at home and abroad, even though they mean far more to inbound operators than the benefits they bring to a
“…a secular change in share, and the areas in which the greatest margins are made, is undeniably underway.” more mature domestic market, or the strong but finite national passion for outbound travel. Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon said in December 2001 that a key reason for setting up Australian Airlines was to lift QF market share from the mid 30 percent range to more than 40 percent. That didn’t work. By 2004 Qantas was down to less than 30 percent market share of international travellers, and of available capacity. This was partly because Qantas wasn’t able to add capacity as rapidly as its competitors, and partly because of the erroneous reliance on serving European markets with twostop services via London or Frankfurt when Thai, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific could offer multitudes of one-stop flights over their hubs. Not to mention Japan Airlines, which had one-stop ‘specials’ to just about everywhere (except Melbourne to Sydney) via Narita. page 11
atx: the mile high club Just as Jetstar was devised to halt the seemingly unstoppable expansion of Virgin Blue when it was planned in 2003, Jetstar International has been structured to take back lost share from the one-stop options over Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore, after first addressing non-stop opportunities to SE Asia, Korea, Japan, and crucially China, as well as the US. Inextricably bound up in this strategy is the use of Jetstar to reform the productivity and efficiency of all Qantas operations. The choice
“Whoever thought it was ‘cute’ policy to confine unlimited international carrier access to ‘secondary’ airports had no idea where airliner technology and the market could go.” of the super-efficient technology of the 787 family is important, but so are the lower unit costs on core routes to London and Los Angeles from Sydney or Melbourne using the giant A380s. Despite the heavy load of reform and expansion Qantas has given its Jetstars, there are those in government and industry who aren’t paying attention, or think the rapidly evolving low-cost models of this hemisphere are a passing fad.
Before Qantas declared non-stop flights to London or New York to be commercially and operationally unviable with the longest range jets available, they were hailed in some quarters as opening up Australia to high-spending tourists who would rescue it from the low-spending hordes of backpackers. Wrong. The number of visitors likely to pay $30,000 return fares to save 90 minutes between London and Sydney would have about as much impact on tourism as Oz Jet had on the SydneyMelbourne route, which was an asterisk representing a statistical margin of error. Qantas has now asked Boeing to come back with less demanding long-haul roles for its 777-200LR Worldliners so that it can pack them to the overhead bins with regular economy seats and the usual but ever-shrinking inventory of premium accommodations. It is also looking at opportunities to take connecting business away from Sydney Airport, perhaps as the next best thing to curbing the pricing power of its owners in the absence of a nearby alternative similar to the availability of Avalon Airport as a Melbourne Airport competitor. This Australian twist to US style route fragmentation has welcome implications for the industry. It makes it easier to spread inbound activity further into the country, on routes where there may never be enough business traffic to have attracted Qantas non-stops from, say, Beijing or Seoul. And while 787 sized high efficiency jets are perfect for future tour groups from China or India that might enter or leave via Canberra, Newcastle, Broome, the Gold Coast, and Adelaide, Emirates is contemplating daily 650 seat mainly economy configured A380s to Adelaide. Whoever thought it was ‘cute’ policy to confine unlimited international carrier access to ‘secondary’ airports had no idea where airliner technology and the market could go. Emirates has dropped hints that it could address the mid-European market that wants to come here for a few months and travel widely with fares of less than Euros 1000 return to Adelaide using the economies of scale inherent in the A380. The A380 actually needs less runway length than comparably loaded 747s flying similar distances. If Emirates turns this notion into action, we cannot ignore the medium term prospect of Tiger Airways coming here with A380s, nor Qantas deploying a few of its large Airbuses with Jetstar International.
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Airline investment is now attaching itself less to the declining share flown by elite corporate cadres and more to servicing the area of greatest demand, which is for ‘good value’ fares. For this industry, this is exceptionally good news.* *See related story from John Koldowski (PATA) on page 19.
atx: beautiful one day...
beautiful one day...
by Christine Retschlag
Deep beneath the washing machine that is the Pacific Ocean, Australia’s best natural asset – the Great Barrier Reef – has entered an ecological spin cycle which has the potential to devastate the tourism industry. Believed to be the only living organism to be viewed from space, the Great Barrier Reef has become a reluctant lead character in the global warming story, in which rising sea temperatures are leading to unprecedented coral bleaching…and some nervous tics in the tourism industry. But it’s not all bad news. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Climate Change Response Program Manager Paul Marshall, said the issue first came to light around 1998 when reefs in the Maldives, Seychelles and Palau experienced between 70 and 90 percent damage from coral bleaching. Australia, by comparison, was relatively lucky, experiencing around five percent deaths that year, and again in 2002. Indeed, five percent damage to the world’s largest reef, which measures some 2000 kilometres in length and 72 kilometres across at its widest point, should hardly raise an eyebrow.
“While we can’t stop global warming we can manage how we use the reef from a tourism point of view. Our reef operators are leading the world in that area. We don’t want to be on a vandal tour.” Queensland’s Tourism Minister Margaret Keech said the State Government had supported a 2004 study by the World Wide Fund for Nature examining the socio-economic impacts of coral bleaching on Queensland’s regional economies. “Like everyone, I am concerned about the forecasts of climate change,” she said. “I have also ensured that the issue of coral bleaching is addressed in the new Tourism Strategy being formulated by Tourism Queensland.” Matthew Williams, General Manager of Tourism Whitsundays acknowledged that coral bleaching was a “serious global problem” but said Queensland, and the Whitsundays, had been “relatively fortunate”.
But it was enough for scientists to sit up and take notice. “We are in relatively good shape,” Dr Marshall said. “That’s a message that the tourism industry is worried that scientists don’t tell enough of, but having said that, five percent is a serious concern.” Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said that the issue was not “black and white”.
Mr Williams said Fantasea Cruises, one of the largest operators in the Whitsundays, was involved in extensive water quality monitoring which was constantly fed back to scientists involved in protection of the reef. Further north, major Cairns reef operator Quicksilver – which takes 13 vessels out to the Great Barrier Reef each day - was more coy about its activities, except to say they were working with the University of Queensland on research into a shade cloth.
Two years ago, QTIC compiled a report into the implication of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and found the reef contributed in excess of $5 billion to Queensland’s $11 billion annual tourism industry coffers.
Quicksilver Director of Marketing Megan Bell said Agincourt Reef – which sits about 72 nautical miles off the Cairns coast - was “one of the healthiest reefs around”.
Mr Gschwind said any major threat to the Great Barrier Reef would be “catastrophic” for Australia.
Australian Institute of Marine Science researcher Ray Berkelmans has been investigating coral bleaching for the past 13 years, including
“That’s a message that the tourism industry is worried that scientists don’t tell enough of, but having said that, fi five percent is a serious concern.” “The reef obviously is a crucial ecological asset for Australia. From a tourism point of view it plays a vitally important role in attracting international visitors to Australia,” he said.
flying the entire length and breadth of the Great Barrier Reef to track the problem.
atx: beautiful one day... Professor Berkelmans warned that bleaching events to date could be just the tip of the ice-berg. “Even if we stopped our greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, there is going to be a long lag of between 10 and 20 years. “I’m optimistic as a society we are going to beat the emissions problem but there is so much inertia in the system that there is still going to be a large flow-on effect to the Great Barrier Reef and other ecosystems.” But Professor Berkelmans, who wears a dual hat working for the Co-Operative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, said there was a “glimmer of hope”. Research had revealed early evidence that some corals may be adapting to climate change naturally, with those which grew a Type D algae, more resistant to global warming than those which grew a Type C algae. However, in nature there are always trade-offs, and while D-dominant corals were tough, they did not grow as fast or reproduce as much. Professor Berkelmans said while they had grown Type D algae in a lab with limited success, he warned it would be dangerous to interfere too much with the Great Barrier Reef’s eco-system, which contained 350 different species of coral among 2900 reefs.
“For us this has been the first glimmer of hope that there may be some potential for coral reefs to adapt to climate change,” he said. “We don’t know how many species are able to do it. All we can do is choose species or areas and do the best we can because there is no way we can cover it all. “Look at how many times we humans have manipulated our environment and totally stuffed it up. You shudder to think what the consequences might be. “We may be buying time but we probably won’t have the Great Barrier Reef as a healthy eco-system if we keep going the way we are.” Catherine Fitzpatrick, Greenpeace climate and energy campaign leader, said the Federal Government acknowledged on one hand the serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change, while admitting its policies would lead to a doubling in global greenhouse pollution. “This position is not only hypocritical and immoral, but potentially illegal,” she said. A report from the UNESCO expert working group will be presented to the next World Heritage meeting in July to consider which World Heritage areas should be listed as “in danger”.
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In 2005, around 820 tourism operators and 1500 vessels and aircraft were permitted to operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which attracts approximately 1.8 million visitors each year. Post Script At the time of going to press, Tropical Cyclone Larry had devastated parts of North Queensland, however tourism was quick to recover and within days it was business as usual for the industry and operators associated with the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland Tourism Industry chief executive Daniel Gschwind, said it was too early to ascertain the extent of structural damage to the Great Barrier Reef. “The reef has gone through many cyclones in its life and it will survive this one,” he said. ■
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cutting through the clutter
by Kerri Anderson
our place on the world stage
cutting through the clutter Two generations ago, international travel was, for many, a luxury to be dreamed of but unlikely to be realised. Today being a global traveller is not only accepted, but expected. In 2005, 808 million people traveled internationally – the highest number on record and a staggering 42 million more than in 2004. 5.5 million came to Australia – also the highest number on record. Despite a future clouded with global uncertainty, international travel is booming. It’s cheaper and more accessible than ever before, new destinations are opening up and emerging middle classes in countries such as China and India are using passports for the first time.
While people continue to travel, travel trends have however changed dramatically in the past five years. People are taking more trips, they are tending to opt for shorter stays, are spending less and are tending to travel to nearer and less expensive destinations.
Travel has well and truly emerged from the wilderness years following September 11 and SARS.
While it is true that many high growth countries are coming from a low base, they are often cheaper and closer to Australia’s key markets. China, for example is currently the world’s fastest growing destination, but with the anomaly of also coming from a large base. In 2004, China recorded 41.7 million overnight visitors and has been averaging six percent growth over the past 10 years, increasing its global market share from 4.5 percent in 2000 to 5.2 percent in 2004.
Tourism, the Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization, Francesco Frangialli, says, has proven it can recover vigorously and rapidly. “Tourists simply try to take into account security considerations when choosing their travel destinations instead of forgoing travel altogether,” he says.
“It is therefore natural that Australia may be feeling some of the effects of this, given the long-haul travel factor from source markets,” Frangialli says. John Koldowski, the Bangkok-based Director of PATA’s (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Strategic Intelligence Centre, agrees. “We are seeing an increased frequency in travel by experienced travellers, together with a new breed of ‘first-time’ travellers with rising disposable incomes, especially in highpopulation countries within Asia,” he says. “Low-fare carriers are enabling travellers to go by air at a much earlier time in their fiscal development because of the relatively cheaper fares.” The number of countries aggressively marketing their destinations has also increased exponentially in the last decade – and the results are showing, particularly in emerging destinations.
China is investing heavily in its tourism industry – with US$12 billion in investments to be injected into Macao alone over the next five years. China is also aggressively targeting Australia’s crucial Japan market, which has slipped from second to third place in terms of size. In 2005 almost 3.5 million Japanese visited China – up by more than a million in five years - making it Japan’s second largest outbound destination (after Korea). By comparison, in 2005, 685,000 Japanese visited Australia, four percent less than in 2004.
“The result is a shorter period of aftermath for each region, enabling them to recover more quickly as the focus shifts to another destination.”
The pace-setters in the emerging destinations include the Middle East, with growth currently averaging 18 percent, while Korea is also going gangbusters, with visitors up 22.4 percent in 2004 to 5.8 million. Korea has also committed US$1.8 billion to tourism infrastructure and marketing in the four years up to 2008.
For global travel, abnormal has become the new normal.
In real terms, while Australia’s numbers are going up and our growth rate is on a
par with world averages, our share of the international market has not budged from between 0.6 and 0.7 percent since 2000. New Zealand, which recorded a two percent increase in visitors in 2005, (2.3 million) has also remained static at 0.3 percent. With the exception of an anomalous 10 percent growth year in 2004 – mainly attributable to the region’s recovery from three negative years - Australia’s growth rate is actually decreasing. Earlier this month the Tourism Forecasting Committee issued its latest forecasts in which last year’s projected 5.6 percent growth in visitor numbers for 2006 was revised down to 2.8 percent. This follows on from a 2005 projection of 6.4 percent growth compared to an actual 5.4 percent. Survey after survey points to Australia being the at the top of the world’s “wish list” destinations and that the Australian brand is actually very strong (the recent Simon Anholt – GMI National Brands Index ranked Australia number one of 25 countries for achievements in branding). In the Index’s 3rd quarter 2005 report on overall branding, (which measures the sum of peoples’ perceptions of a country across several areas of national competence), Australia consistently ranked in the overall top 10 and was ranked first by US and Japanese respondents for its strong “people” brand. Italy recorded the strongest tourism brand for almost all markets. While Australia’s brand is strong, the conundrum is that tourism marketers continue to struggle to convert awareness to bona fide travel. The truly bright light is that for the first time last year, Australia moved into the top 10 countries for tourism receipts, earning $17.6B – good news for those who may be disheartened by our lack of substantial growth in market share. Our marketers agree that Australia cannot compete on the basis of price or proximity. The focus is therefore shifting to pursuing a particular type of visitor – one who is looking for a unique, value-for-money holiday. The challenge for the tourism industry going into the future is how to “hook” these visitors. In a presentation at the Tourism Futures conference on the Gold Coast last October, Access Economics co-founder Geoff Carmody, said that “profitless volume” had been identified well over a decade ago as something the tourism industry should avoid. “Historically tourism has been a spectacular failure in keeping supply in line with demand,” he said.
atx: World’s top tourism destinations* International tourist arrivals:
International tourist receipts:
Change (%) 03/02 04*/03
1 France 2 Spain 3 United States 4 China 5 Italy 6 United Kingdom 7 Hong Kong (China) 8 Mexico 9 Germany 10 Austria 41 AUSTRALIA
75.0 51.8 41.2 33.0 39.6 24.7 15.5 18.7 18.4 19.1 4.7
75.1 53.6 46.1 41.8 37.1 27.7 21.8 20.6 20.1 19.4 5.2
-2.6 -0.9 -5.4 -10.4 -0.5 2.2 -6.2 -5.1 2.4 2.5 -2
0.1 3.4 11.8 26.7 -6.4 12.1 40.4 10.5 9.5 1.5 10
*World Tourism Organisation (WTO) provisional figure or data (most recent data available)
Change (%) 03/02 04/03
Local currencies change 03/02 04*/03
1 United States 2 Spain 3 France 4 Italy 5 Germany 6 United Kingdom 7 China 8 Turkey 9 Austria 10 AUSTRALIA
64.3 39.6 36.6 31.2 23.1 22.7 17.4 13.2 14.0 10.3
74.5 45.2 40.8 35.7 27.7 27.3 25.7 15.9 15.4 13.0
-3.6 24.9 13.2 17.1 20.1 11.2 -14.6 10.9 24.2 20.3
-3.6 4.4 -5.4 -2.1 0.4 2.1 -14.6 -7.3 3.8 0.8
15.7 14.1 11.6 14.1 19.7 20.5 47.9 20.3 10.4 25.5
15.7 3.8 1.5 3.8 8.9 7.5 47.9 9.4 0.4 10.7
(Data as collected by WTO June 2005) provisional figure or data
“The future may offer an even more severe threat than the past: be disciplined on capacity or be even more prone to business failure.”
“We’ve tended to rely too much on icons like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, and not enough on developing them into really compelling experiences.
Managing Director of Global Tourism and Leisure Pty Ltd and former Tourism Tasmania Chair, John King*, agrees that Australia needs to do more to target higher quality visitors.
“There are reefs around the world, but what is it about the Great Barrier Reef that you can’t find anywhere else?”
“While Australia is still seen positively, there is not that strength of appeal or connection with the sort of experience people are requiring to make them come here,” he says.
King says more and more the emphasis in travel is on experiences which deliver opportunities for self-discovery which allow visitors to really “get to know” Australia and Australians. Ask Tourism Australia why previous strategies have not resulted in markedly increasing conversion levels and they will tell you they did their job in building awareness of Australia. “After almost 40 years of destination marketing, the awareness goal has now been substantially achieved,” Tourism Australia Managing Director, Scott Morrison says. “We recognise that we need to stop people dreaming about Australia and start taking action.” The new “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign, which has been both lauded and lambasted, is the needed switch in focus, International tourist arrivals (WTO) Region
Numbers Change (%) 2005 (million)
WORLD EUROPE Northern Europe Western Europe Central/Eastern Europe Southern/Mediterranean Europe ASIA & PACIFIC North-East Asia South-East Asia Oceania (including Australia) (AUSTRALIA) South Asia AMERICAS North America Caribbean Central America South America AFRICA North Africa Sub-Saharan Africa MIDDLE EAST
808 443.9 51.8 138.7 92.3 158.8 156.2 87.5 50.2 10.6 (5.5) 7.9 133.1 89.4 19.2 6.6 18.0 36.7 13.6 23.1 38.4
100 54.9 6.4 17.5 11.4 19.6 19.3 10.8 6.2 1.3 (0.7) 1.0 16.5 11.1 2.4 0.8 2.2 4.5 1.7 2.9 4.8
5.5 4.3 7.1 1.7 3.6 6.2 7.4 10.2 4.1 3.9 (5.4) 4.5 5.8 4.1 5.4 13.6 12.7 10.1 6.9 12.6 6.9
cutting through the clutter Watching Brief: John Koldowski (PATA) The Asia Pacific region – as defined by PATA – received around 328 million international arrivals during calendar year 2005, an increase of 7.1 percent over 2004. Chart 1: IVAs to Asia Pacific by destination Sub-region, 2005 Pacific 3.3% Southeast Asia 15.0%
South Asia 1.9%
Northeast Asia 54.3%
Sub-regionally Northeast Asia captured the lion’s share of that traffic, however this is largely driven by the enormous border flows between China (PRC), Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR; those flows however will only increase. The Chinese government for example recently added six more cities to its list of those citizens permitted to travel to the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau under the Individual Visit Scheme; and Hong Kong in March 2006 recorded more than 2.1 million arrivals for the month.
international visitors than Australia sees in a calendar year; but then Hong Kong SAR has a number of advantages in that 1. It has neighbours with enormous populations; 2. These populations are becoming increasingly more wealthy (relatively speaking); and 3. Hong Kong SAR is well connected to these populations in terms of air/land/ sea access. Over a slightly longer time-period – 2001 to 2005 - the Asia Pacific region has expanded its international visitor arrivals base by around 6 percent per annum. The Pacific region and the Americas have both underperformed - in relative terms - expanding by around 3.7 percent and 1.1 percent respectively, per annum over the same Table 1: average annual growth rates of IVAs 2001-2005, by sub-region Sub-region AAGR 2005/01 North East Asia 9.2 South Asia 9.0 South East Asia 4.6 Pacific 3.7 Americas 1.1 Asia Pacific 6.0
time-period (Table 1). In fact during the first quarter of 2006, Hong Kong SAR received more
These figures of course only measure
Morrison says, aimed at shaking travellers out of thinking of Australia as a wistful “one day” to a resolute “I’m going” destination. The $180 million campaign, which began rolling out globally in February, targets consumers who are not defined by age, gender or nationality, but rather exist in all markets.
one variable – international visitor arrivals – and other factors such as length of stay, total spend and dispersion throughout a destination could well show a different picture. Nonetheless in terms of visitor numbers, the Asia Pacific region as a whole is expanding at a rate above the global longterm average of 4-5 percent per annum; but not evenly. Asia generally is the rising star and even Southeast Asia with all its problems post-tsunami and terrorism attacks is still expanding in line with the global average. Amongst all the factors that drive this Asian expansion, one in particular, is worth mentioning and that is the dramatic increase in intraregional air connectivity particularly with the emergence of the so-called ‘low-cost’ and ‘low-fare’ carriers in the region. By December 2003, the low-cost airlines network across Southeast Asia saw four carriers servicing 17 destinations. One year later this had increased to 42 destinations and as at April 2006, the scheduled route map for the low cost/fare carriers had expanded to some 57 destinations across Southeast and Northeast Asia. ■
“Australia now has a great opportunity to reinvigorate that product curve,” he says. “In many markets we have left the practical stuff to the travel industry within those markets and in order to get volume, they pushed Australia on price rather than on yield. “As a result there has been a difference in where we have pitched Australia compared to what we have been delivering.”
“In the past people tended to travel to discover places and do things now they are travelling to places and do things to discover themselves.”
He says that in the past, people tended to travel to discover places and things – now, they are travelling to places and doing things to discover themselves.
But does the reality this demographic is seeking measure up to the expectations being promoted?
It is too early to judge whether Tourism Australia’s new campaign will succeed in “cutting through the clutter” and get the all important, high-spending bums on seats, but there is no doubt that the industry is eagerly waiting to see when the bloody hell they’re coming. ■
John King says the industry has some work to do in ensuring that the experiences we promise are delivered upon. “There needs to be a very close working relationship between Tourism Australia, the states and the major tourism regions to ensure this happens – especially for mature markets such as the UK which thinks it has a very high level of understanding of what Australia is.
“For a long time we promoted Australia as a place of great diversity that was all things to all people. “But when you push the position of so many things to do, you’re really nothing to anyone.”
*This article was written prior to John King’s appointment as incoming ATEC Chair. ATX will undertake an analysis of the campaign’s success in a future issue. page 19
Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb BridgeClimb is hailed a success story worldwide, with founder Paul Cave considered to be the “hero” – the ambitious entrepreneur with a dream he refused to give up on. Cave says the best ideas are often the simplest ideas, and although he labels BridgeClimb as a ‘simple idea’, it took nine years and 10 months to bring it to realisation. The original business plan projected a mere period of just two years to opening. But instead of an easy breeze, the operation was given 64 reasons why the idea would not work.
hop on hop off tour bus
The unstoppable Cave went to solve each problem one by one in order to create what is deemed as one of those rare things every traveller should have done in their life. But he admitted later that had he known he was in for a 10 year process, he would never have started it. Cave also acknowledges he was so far gone with the project he would have been “dead and buried”, had it not gone ahead. He therefore saw no alternative than to proceed, no matter what. He made his main focus to find issues that might have stopped the project from going ahead and resolve them. The main obstacle was easily detected: the whole project was a world first. There were no templates for such a project anywhere in the world. Cave says it was a gutsy call on the government with such a proposal, and even gutsier for them to finally approve a 20 year lease. In the beginning, however, Paul Cave says it was not surprising a lot of the bureaucrats involved found the project daunting, but luckily there were a few what he refers to as ‘enlightened bureaucrats’, who helped smooth the process. Heritage and environmental issues, safety and maintenance of the structure were all major concerns that had to be dealt with. But none were as important as minimising the traffic flow. After all, it is one of the busiest city bridges in the world. For the first five years of the project, Cave and his team kept the idea quiet, fearing one thing or another would kill the deal. While the government was halting the process, psychiatrists were hired to analyse the psychological impact on climbers. Two out of three psychiatrists suggested climbers would have to carry sick bags with them. Eight years and 1.7 million climbers later not one has needed a sick bag. It goes to show though that dealing with a first-of-its-kind project, no one truly knows what to expect. But if you believe in it, as Paul Cave has certainly shown the world, anything is impossible. ■
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atx: business case
Skyrail: the sky’s the limit overseas Australians are a hot commodity around the world and now our tourist products are in demand too. June 26 this year sees the opening of the new tourist attraction Ngong Ping 360 in Hong Kong, which has been made possible by one of Australia’s most popular tourist products, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. It is not the first time the Skyrail format has been exported out of Queensland, but the $157 million Ngong Ping project is certainly the largest project away from home. Besides the Hong Kong venture, Skyrail-ITM (International Tourism Management) operates the gondola cableway at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. In addition to this, the company is involved in three other overseas projects, in the US, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Skyrail says exporting unique Australian tourism products maintain the quality and reputation of the experience concept, as well as lessens the risk of lower standard copies reducing the quality image of the experience. Needless to say, Skyrail’s recognition abroad will boost visitor numbers to its Queensland operation. Skyrail-ITM will play a vital part in Ngong Ping 360, which is expected to be one of Hong Kong’s ‘must-do’ attractions. The 5.7 kilometre cable car journey will travel between Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, during
which passengers can enjoy panoramic views of the Hong Kong International Airport, South China Sea, North Lantau Country Park and the Tian Tan Big Buddha, the world’s largest of its kind. The attraction also incorporates a cultural themed village. Skyrail’s continuous success overseas is now proving what works in Australia can work elsewhere, while providing inspiration to other Australian operators contemplating taking their talent (and product) overseas. ■
atx: the backpacker effect
the backpacker effect by Lee Mylne
From behind the bar in the Quinkan Hotel in the outback Queensland settlement of Laura, about 315km north-west of Cairns, British backpacker Harriet Rosewell is enthusiastic about her travels around Australia. “I came to Laura for two weeks to see the Quinkan rock art and get my airfare together to head home to London, and I’ve been here two months,” she says. “Now I’m planning to stay on until September.” Harriet is typical of the 104,000 young travellers from all over the world who head to Australia each year on working holiday visas. At 26, with a degree in archaeology and a background in marketing, Harriet has spent time in Perth and Melbourne, worked for three months in Sydney as a secretary and in catering. Harriet flew between Perth and Sydney, but then travelled up the east coast by bus. “Australia has treated me pretty well and this is a great community to live in,” she says. “My experience has been a bit different to some
Tourism Research Australia: International Visitor Survey (year end 31 Dec ‘05)
NUMBERS (‘000) NIGHTS (‘000) EXPENDITURE* RETURN VISITS (%) DURATION OF STAY**
% change 04/05
482.0 32 541 $4,876 37 68
498.9 31 641 $4,674 34 64
3.5 - 2.7 - 4.1 3.0 - 5.8
*Average per trip **Average no. of nights
British backpackers I meet, who say they’ve never got to meet Australians.” With the Federal Government’s recent announcement that backpackers will be allowed to work for six months – instead of three - for one employer, backpackers are expected to stay longer and spend more. Backpackers are worth $2 billion to Australia – making them one of tourism’s highest yielding markets. “Backpackers are important because they stay longer than typical tourists – more than 60 days on average – and their expenditure is double,” says ATEC’s Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel chairman, and head of YHA NSW, Julian Ledger. “They are important because they spread their dollars around. They disperse more because their culture is ‘off the beaten track’. ” Ledger says the backpacker market has moved “from niche to mainstream” in recent years, as young travellers have more money to spend. “It is a mistake to believe that backpackers only want the cheapest, although they would still rather save on accommodation and spend their money on activities and entertainment,” he says.
“Backpackers are experiential. They are ‘travellers’, not ‘tourists’, who stay longer and are interested in self-development and meeting people, not just sightseeing.” Traditionally, backpackers have travelled by coach, but internet airfares and lowcost carriers have created a “challenge and opportunity” for the industry, he says. According to Tourism Australia, new trends in the backpacker market mean tourism operators should be looking to broaden their definition of this lucrative market if they are to keep up.
atx: the backpacker effect
While International Visitor Survey figures for 2005 showed visitor nights, average expenditure and duration of stay were all down on the previous year, Tourism Australia has warned against using “just one score” to determine the market.
“The biggest competition is people sitting at home and buying a plasma screen television.” Backpacking Queensland chairman Dean Cooper agrees increasing length of stay and broadening the list of places to which backpackers are attracted are the key challenges for the industry. “The airlines are definitely taking some dollars off the bus routes, so some areas are having to be a bit more creative to attract them or will be missing out,” he says. Adventure Tours Australia National Sales Manager Bruce Thurlow says “the jury is still out” on the effects of cheaper airline travel on road transport. “The east coast is where low-cost airfares are coming into play and different areas are being affected in different ways,” he says.
Asia, Ledger says Australia’s working holiday visa program “gives us a competitive advantage”. But the biggest competition, he says, is “people sitting at home and buying a plasma screen television”. No fear of that for young travellers like Harriet Rosewell. She’s planning to add another couple of Australian icons – Uluru and Kakadu - to her sightseeing list before she boards the plane for home. ■
For example, while backpackers might fly from Sydney to Byron/ Ballina, touring was not affected because ground transport was still needed to get to the unique places outside Byron Bay which tours operated to. “But cheaper flights from Brisbane to Hervey Bay and Airlie Beach have meant that the international student market will now use their short breaks to fly and do the Whitsundays and Fraser Island, where in the past they would have taken the time to travel by bus or on a tour.”
“My experience has been a bit different to some British backpackers I meet, who say they never got to meet Australians.” However, cheaper flights to Darwin from Brisbane and Melbourne had been “nothing but positive for us,” he says. Dean Cooper, who also runs the Islander Resort Hotel at Surfers Paradise, says breaking the stereotype of backpackers is important. “In Surfers Paradise, we have the 18 to 25 year olds from the UK, but we also have a more mature market as well - seriously educated travellers in their 20s and early 30s.” And while Australia faces competition for the backpacker market from destinations such as New Zealand and South East
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atx: tourism heroes The best advice I’ve ever… received was from my careers advisor at high school, who simply told me to concentrate my career activities on the commercial side of life, and my career has fallen into place since then. The ‘bloody hell’ campaign… is bloody creative!! For the first time we are really inviting ‘fence-sitters’ to come to Australia, rather than simply telling them that they should come here.
The humble Australian by Anders Lindström Industry veteran Bob Lunnon says winning ATEC’s Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award for 2005 was a total surprise... To many others though, it was an acknowledgement long overdue. Lunnon is renowned in the hotel industry as a man of advice. “Many would see me as a mentor, as somebody who’s prepared to share my experience, my knowledge. I’m happy to share and help, and I have been able to open many doors for other people,” he says. His best advice to others is simple: to listen. “If you don’t find out what are people’s needs, wants and desires, then you’re not going to be able to satisfy anyone,” he says. Being considered a mentor for others, Lunnon names Geoff Dixon as one of his own rolemodels. “He can walk the halls of power in Canberra, he can walk the halls of Qantas, but he’s also very streetwise. He can walk and talk to the average punter on the street.” In his 43rd year in the travel industry, Lunnon’s CV looks exceptionally loyal. He joined Qantas at 19 and was 10 years later part of establishing Qantas Holidays in 1972. Another 10 years on Lunnon joined Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, which was acquired by Starwood. “Technically I have only worked for two companies, but I’ve done about 40 different jobs, so there has been no need to go to other companies.” page 24
Lunnon attributes his success to honesty. “I’ve been in the industry for 43 years and never really sat down and planned anything that happened. Hard work, obligation, a little bit of common knowledge and being honest can you get there.” Lunnon is sceptical that he will see the hotel industry’s major issue tackled whilst he is still working. “The major issue is still technology. The airlines did a good job getting together and combining their technology and I think it will happen in the hotel industry, but maybe not in my working life. The hotel industry has never gotten together to create a global system. It goes right back to the technology companies, for them to make the money of it.” Looking ahead at possibilities, Lunnon thinks the sky is still the limit for further Starwood expansions. Over the years he has seen the company change from a real estate company with a hotel brand to a strong hotel brand in itself. The global focus is now to differentiate the brands and explain that to the customer, an issue faced by all larger hotel companies, he says. “You’ll find in the future we will communicate the differences to our customers and to our competitors’ customers.” As a true travel professional, Lunnon spends half his time overseas. He doesn’t have a favourite country or city (besides Australia and Sydney) and won’t name a favourite hotel. The first thing he does, however, in a new hotel room is to read the emergency information behind the door. Thereafter he checks the view. ■
The Australian travel industry needs… to educate, encourage, and personally invite overseas people to visit Australia, and then follow up directly with them again to ensure they are actually coming. But above all, as a destination, we have to remain price and service competitive with other international destinations, due to our remoteness from key international markets. I wish I had believed… my family doctor, when he told me I was the perfect father to raise my five children, who were all born within 42 months, between 1975 and 1979, including two sets of twins. I always say… G’day in the local language to everyone I meet in overseas countries, to establish a bridge between us. If I hadn’t joined Starwood… I’d probably still be in the travel industry, and most likely still working for Qantas and Qantas Holidays. If I could change one thing about the Australian travel industry... I’d have school curriculums which teach more about how exciting, challenging, and full of opportunities this industry of ours is. When I retire… I’ll be the tour escort for Lunnon Family holidays, including my wife, five children, their spouses and partners, and three grandchildren, with more expected!!! My dream has always been… to be a pilot. Now I am fortunate to be able to fly around the world as much as they do, while enjoying the hospitality of their employers!!! My favourite place… is going down the South Coast of NSW for simple beach holidays with my family. Sydney is…the best bloody place on Earth, for me!!! The hotel business is… a global growth industry, and a great way for younger people to broaden their horizons, while welcoming tourists to Australia from all around the world.
atx: awards & new members atec excellence award nominations 2006 Day Tour Operator Greg Dallas (Epicurean Food & Wine Tours) Grant Charlesworth (Australian Wild Escape) Katrina Mitton (Grayline) Lynn Stewart (Passions of Paradise) Fleur Ulbrick (Australian Pacific Touring) Russell Boswell (Wilderness Challenge) Tour Operator Craig Wickham (Exceptional Kangaroo Island) Stephanie Siebert (Discovery Ecotours Australia) Jackie Charlton-Haworth (Caption Cook Cruises) Michael Healy (Quicksilver Group) Vicki Briggs (Coral Princess Cruises) Fleur Ulbrick (Australian Pacific Touring) Transport Operator James Dixon (Down Under Tours Australia - NT) Mark Phelps (Sita Coaches) Steven Sherwin (Murray’s Travels) Hana Tour Australia Pty Ltd Australian Eco Adventures Pty Ltd Australian Technology Park Explorer Technologies Pty Ltd International Hotel Services Pty Ltd Adventure North - Sales Plus
Claire Sim (Great Southern Railway) Don Phelan (Surfers Paradise Coaches) Attraction Karen O’Mara (Healesville Sanctuary) Terry Robinson (Phillip Island Nature Park) Nick Pape (BridgeClimb) Lyndon Baker (Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary) Louize Godlonton (Taronga Zoo) Simon Williamson (Sydney Attractions Group) Budget Accomodation Joe Florian (Base Backpackers) Carissa Garza (Normads Travel) Tourist Class Accomodation Yann Duroselle (Batman’s Hill Hotel) Claudia McFadden (Cairns Colonial Club Resort) Shirley Lin (Accor Melbourne) Lou Goodman (Paradise Resort Gold Coast)
Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc Cape Trib Beach House Sunrise Beach Lodge Comfort Suites City Terraces Proud Australia Holidays Pty Ltd Hughies Grape & Golf Tours
Outstanding contribution to industry John Ward – Chairman, Transonic Travel Ltd Lori Modde – Bronwyn White Pty Ltd Lois Appleby – Tourism Victoria Sandra Passaro – Director of Business Tourism, Gold Coast Tourism Steve Irwin – Owner, Australia Zoo Grant Hunt – former CEO, Voyages Young ATEC Award Nominees NSW: Anna Guy – NT Tourist Commission SA: Drew Kluska – Outback Encounter VIC/TAS: Lindsay Goding – Phillip Island Nature Parks – Penguin Parade WA: Graham Hill – Tourism Western Australia South QLD: Danielle Geddes - Riverlife North QLD: Martina Neidig - Townsville Enterprise Limited (Tourism Bureau)
Downunder Destinations Pty Ltd Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd Akuna Seaplanes Business Tourism Australia Great Ocean Road Helicopters Willabaa
new atec members
atx: what happens on tour...
Left to right: ATEC North Queensland - Sydney Showcase; ATEC South Australia Mega Famil; ATEC North Queensland - Sydney Showcase; Inbound to the Outback - Northern Territory; ATEC New South Wales - lawn bowls day; ATEC Victoria Mega Famil
atx: upcoming events
Time Well Spent. Couran Cove Island Resort is the perfect Queensland island destination. Located just 35 minutes by ferry from the Gold Coast, enjoy an island holiday with easy access to theme park and shopping attractions. With over 100 activities and luxurious Marine Accommodation set around the marina or lagoon, Couran Cove Island Resort provides a unique and memorable holiday or conference experience. For reservations call 1800 268 726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a peaceful kayak around the lagoon, fish from the sparkling white sand of the Surf Beach or cruise the Broadwater on the Spirit of Gwonda Catamaran.
Relax in our luxurious marine accommodation, overlooking the marina or lagoon.
Get active! Enjoy some fun in the sun on the beautiful Broadwater. Water Sports activities include Jet Skis, Banana Boat Rides and Parasailing – to name a few.
Meander through the rainforest, breathe in the crisp fresh air, listen to the chorus of frogs and gaze in wonder at ancient trees.
02-Jun-06 Sri Lanka Gateway to South Asia Travel Mart, Centre Colombo, Sri Lanka 06-Jun-06 Cutting-Edge Research in Tourism - New Directions, Challenges and Applications, Guildford,Surrey, United Kingdom 11-Jun-06 Australia Week in Moscow Moscow, Russia 17-Jun-06 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2006, Adelaide, SA 18-Jun-06 New Frontiers in Global Tourism - Trends & Competitive Challenges Dublin, Ireland 20-Jun-06 Lacime 2006 – Latin America and Caribbean Incentive & Meeting Exhibition, Sao Paulo, Brazil 22-Jun-06 BITE2006 - Beijing International Tourism Expo, Moscow, Russia 04-Jul-06 SE QLD Sydney Showcase, Sydney, NSW 09-Jul-06 Meeting Professionals International - World Education Congress 2006, Dallas, United States 12-Jul-06 Townsville Enterprise ITO Famil & Workshops, Townsville, QLD 12-Jul-06 China International Business & Incentive Travel Mark 2006, Beijing, China 19-Jul-06 Outback QLD Famil, Outback QLD 25-Jul-06 Australian Travel Safari, South Africa 16-Aug-06 NSW Branch AGM & Trivia Night, Sydney 17-Aug-06 Oztalk North America, West Coast 23-Aug-06 VIC/TAS Workshop Famil, Melbourne/Hobart 23-Aug-06 Cruise Down Under Conference, Cairns, QLD 25-Aug-06 Caravan Salon Düssuldorf Düsseldorf, Germany 25-Aug-06 Oztalk North America, East Coast 30-Aug-06 Oztalk South East Asia, Bangkok, Thailand
atx: export ready or not!
here we come export ready or not! Marketing 101 tells us that word of mouth is the best form of advertising and if Australia is to continue to grow new markets and get visitors to come back, we need to make sure we have the quality service and experiences which our visitors are looking for. When he took over the helm as ATEC MD in early 2005, Matt Hingerty saw the need to provide tourism operators across the industry with an easily accessible guide to the basics of the inbound business and an insight into dealing with the expectations of different cultures. “The problem,” he said, “was finding a way to provide training to an industry where 90 percent of businesses are small to medium enterprises located in regional and remote areas where access to training facilities is limited or non-existent, and employers can’t afford to have staff away from the job for a period of time.” The solution was obvious – establish an online training program which was available to anyone, anywhere, anytime as long as they had access to the internet. “The big hurdle was how to fund such a venture – no cheap exercise when you consider the amount of time and expertise
that it could move from a paper-based format to being one of the first online accreditation services to be delivered on the portal. “The Code is a very specific product for inbound tour operators, so at the same time we proposed to develop services for the whole of the inbound tourism industry – and those considering getting into it.” Matt said Tourism Minister Fran Bailey understood what ATEC was trying to do straight away and late last year announced a grant to assist ATEC develop the Export Ready series of online learning modules. “This saw the commencement of a period of frenetic activity at ATEC to comply with government deadlines.” The development of the program is being managed by ATEC’s Policy and Industry Development Manager, Anna Rattray, who is no stranger to the Code of Conduct and training materials.
Participants in the program will be able to complete their course around existing work commitments, logging in and out at will. The Export Ready modules will be modestly priced with a discount for ATEC members. The course will revolve around two core topics and a number of electives. “The biggest benefit is that Export Ready will be available to anyone across Australia regardless of their geographical isolation,” Matt said. “We also see a major market in educational institutions and government departments – in fact with anyone interested in inbound tourism. The program will be continually added to, and we’re already consulting with partners such as Tourism Australia to find appropriate products to add to the mix.” Modules on topics such as tourist visas and understanding research are planned for the future. And of the Code?
“The solution was obvious - establish an online training program which was available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.” required to develop an effective e-learning program that would stand up to Australian educational standards,” Matt said. The answer came with the development of the Federal Government’s Quality Tourism accreditation portal. “We sought some government assistance to develop our Tourism Export Code of Conduct so
Former Managing Director Peter Shelley is preparing the modules while the technical work and “back of house” hosting is being done by e-learning provider Todaycorp, who handle the staff learning modules for McDonald’s and Rebel Sport. The modules will be tested and refined by ATEC members and inbound experts prior to launch.
“It’s a specific program for ITOs and it takes a bit more time and will cost a bit more,” Matt said. “We will, however, be promoting it heavily overseas so that a wholesaler knows when they deal with an ATEC Export Code signatory, they are dealing with a quality operator. “At the same time we are in discussions with the government to explore how the code may be able to provide relief from some of the more onerous, and less useful, obligations of the Travel Compensation Fund.”
Export Ready and the Tourism Export Code of Conduct (on www.qualitytourism. com.au) will both be live in early July.
atx: what have we been up to? ATEC runs on the board Through both its policy and business development focus, ATEC works hard for members as the voice of the inbound tourism industry. Business-to-business Each year ATEC organises three national events (Symposium, Meeting Place, and Leadership and Management Conference) and more than 80 branch events. ATEC fosters strong partnerships with state and regional tourism organisations in order to deliver state-based workshops and familiarisations. In 2006 ATEC will pioneer the Export Ready online learning program and has published its Export Code of Conduct to the Quality Tourism accreditation portal. Markets JAPAN ATEC was a key contributor to the Action Plan for Japanese Tourism and will continue to monitor the implementation of the plan’s recommendations. The ATEC Japan Policy Panel continues to work on issues impacting on arrivals from this key market. CHINA & INDIA ATEC was a key contributor to the development of the Federal Government’s Emerging Markets Strategy for China and India. ATEC provided key input into the review of the Approved Destination Status scheme and continues to liaise closely with state Fair Trading departments and the federal Inbound Tourism Compliance Taskforce
in their efforts to stamp out rogue traders. BACKPACKERS Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel (BTAP) is an ATEC-run voluntary panel consisting of industry representatives from across Australia. During the past year BTAP has been working on some key issues including: Illegal hostels – In late 2005 BTAP released a report into illegal hostels in NSW. As a result, a taskforce was formed by the NSW government to address the issue. Working Holiday Maker Scheme – following intensive lobbying by ATEC on behalf of the industry, the Federal Government announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker Scheme, extending the visa from one to two years for those who work a minimum three months in the harvest area; and most recently extending the maximum time a visa-holder can stay with one employer from three to six months. For the first time a backpacker mini-conference was held at the 2006 ATEC Symposium in Cairns. ATEC is currently working with Tourism Australia to expand the way in which backpacker research is analysed in order to provide a better picture of backpacker trends. Policy Tourism Shopping – ATEC is playing a key role in the review of tourism shopping policy in order to establish a system which returns refunds to travellers while they are still in Australia.
Taxes and charges – ATEC spearheaded the campaign against imposing the GST on foreign tour operators, resulting in the Australian Taxation Office halting its plan. ATEC led an industry charge against an ATO proposal for businesses to remit full GST on final sales when receiving deposits greater that 10%. Visas – ATEC continues to lobby on behalf of industry for changes to visa requirements which will make travel for key international market visitors to Australia easier and more attractive. This includes lobbying for the adoption of a working holiday style visa for US citizens. Panel Membership ATEC sits on a number of key advisory panels including: • National Tourism Alliance • National Tourism Aviation Advisory Committee • Tourism Australia advisory panels • Tourism Forecasting Committee • Tourism Visa Advisory Group • White Paper Industry Implementation Advisory Group ATEC has played an advisory role in the development of the Queensland and Victorian Tourism strategies and the NSW Masterplan. ATEC continues to pressure state governments to maintain their commitment to tourism funding and marketing.
atx: useful stuff atx: advertorial
the truth to being famous - even in tourism The international celebrity and the tourism operator have more in common than you realise. by Don Jolly A recent interview with Tiger Woods on 60 Minutes confirmed there’s more to success at an international level than meets the eye. His absolute skills were substantiated by tales of intense concentration, confidence and commitment. Tiger’s approach is the blueprint for success across many professions, and certainly whether you’re a tourism industry veteran or novice, it’s worth considering. 1) Analyse markets and determine your major benefits and features Decide on the markets, agencies and contacts that you will focus on by asking your team or valued colleagues for their opinions on the business and how you service target markets. A more realistic view will be achieved alongside positive rapport – everyone likes to feel valued! Be prepared to listen and take action where possible.
6) Ask for business Make it easy for the client to invest, provide an easy contracting process and constantly follow up. 7) Have fun Enjoy the experience. Tourism is big business and should be treated seriously, but confidence via good preparation and enthusiasm will make it fun. Together, these simple steps will contribute to your success in the international marketplace, not forgetting that to your advantage you operate in a truly great global industry and provide invaluable services that showcase this beautiful country. Don Jolly & Associates (DJA), is a consulting and training firm specialising in travel and tourism. For more information visit www.donjollyassoc.com
2) Discover why customers use your products or services Meet with existing customers and ask them what they like and what can be improved in your operation. Listen, take action and remain focused on the benefits for the agent and his or her customers. Remember markets and trends change constantly. Also obtain referrals to other clients who might be interested in your products or services. 3) Review your sales presentations and key messages Practicing your sales presentation with your team will induce honest feedback and perfect content and timing. Whilst your team can be your most challenging audience, they will often also be your most rewarding. In preparation, it’s essential that you decide on key messages for each market and outline the customer benefits, rather than focus on features. An effective method is to develop stories that highlight these benefits. 4) Adapt to new markets Adapt your message and product to specific market segments - what applies to one may not apply to another. Entering new markets, in particular Asia, can be like learning to write with your other hand, so attending workshops and conducting research on each market is fundamental. 5) Turn over objections What are common objections to your products or services? Price, location, maybe even service? Work with your team to develop positive approaches that address objections or, where possible, turn objections into a positive.
Altmann & Cherny family jewellers since 1948, specialising in Australian Opals - spacious, ground floor showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne - educational opal presentation - catering to the independent traveller and large tour groups Sydney - 18 Pitt Street Phone - (02) 9251 9477 Email - email@example.com Melbourne - 128 Exhibition Street Phone - (03) 9650 9685 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel Chateau Yering offers its guests the history, luxury and sophistication of a ‘Relais & Chateaux’ five star property. Melba Highway Yering Yarra Valley, VIC 3770 email@example.com www.chateau-yering.com.au Tel: +61 3 9237 3333 Fax: +61 3 9237 3300
Hotel Stellar Sydney Hotel Stellar is a boutique hotel apartment complex with studios, two bedroom apartments in the heart of the city. 4 Wentworth Ave, Sydney, NSW, 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stellarsuites.com.au
Nick’s Seafood Restaurant Nick Manettas and his team have captured the essence of Sydney dining with impressive water views, inspired food and impeccable service. Cockle Bay Wharf, King Street Wharf and Bondi Beach, NSW 2000 email@example.com www.nicksseafoodrestaurant.com.au Tel: +61 2 9264 1919 Fax: +61 2 9264 8448
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Britz Campervan, 4WD & Car Rentals Britz offers Australia’s largest 2WD & 4WD campervan rental fleet, plus a range of rental cars. Competitive rates with free unlimited kilometres and branches Australia-wide.
Direct Air Tours Direct Air Tours specialise in offering quality all inclusive air and ground tours so you can experience Australia’s famous icons by air.
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Main Terminal Building, Essendon Airport VIC 3041 email@example.com www.directairtours.com
Our specialised services include: - Housekeeping - Front Office - Stewarding - Management of Common Areas maintenance
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Superior hotel management solutions
Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston Peppers Seaport Hotel is superbly located right on the Tamar riverfront, just 5 minutes from Launceston CBD. 28 Seaport Boulevard Launceston TAS 7250 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stellaresorts.com.au Tel: +61 7 5665 4133 Fax: +61 7 5665 4433
PHANTOM Phantom Charters Luxury private charter cruiser to the Outer Great Barrier Reef , tropical islands and coral cays. Indulge in gourmet cuisine by on- board Chef. Experience snorkelling, diving , fishing. Ideal for weddings, honeymoons, family or corporate entertaining.
Cairns Beach Resort Metres from swaying palm trees and the warm tropical waters of the Coral Sea, Cairns Beach Resort is the closest beachfront accommodation to Cairns city.
Featherdale Wildlife Park Home to the world’s largest collection of Australian native animals and winner of ‘Major Tourist Attraction’ at the Tourism NSW Awards in 2005.
129 Oleander Street, Holloways Beach Cairns QLD 4870 email@example.com www.cairnsbeachresort.com.au
217 Kildare Road Doonside NSW 2767 firstname.lastname@example.org www.featherdale.com.au
1 Chandos Street St Leonards, Sydney, 2000 email@example.com
PO Box 340 Port Douglas, FNQ, 4877, Australia www.phantomcharters.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +61 7 4037 0400 Fax: +61 7 4037 0600
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JMD Ross Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd Talk to the risk and insurance specialists who understand your business and who have been advising the inbound industry for more than 20 years.
Captain Cook Cruises With 35 years experience, Captain Cook Cruises are the best way to see Sydney – day & night. No. 6 Jetty, Circular Quay Sydney NSW 2000 Sydney@captaincook.com.au www.captaincook.com.au Tel: +61 2 9206 1111 Fax: +61 2 9251 1281
GBR Helicopter Group Flying to outer reef pontoons: Great Adventures – Moore & Norman Reef; Green Island; Quicksilver Cruises – Agincourt Reef; Reef Magic – Moore Reef.
Kuranda Trading Post The Kuranda Trading Post is a modern tourist complex comprising a licensed 300 seat Restaurant, 150 seat Internet Café, Souvenir Shop and Foreign Currency Exchange.
PO Box 84N, North Cairns QLD 4870 email@example.com www.gbrhelicopters.com.au
15 Coondoo St, Kuranda, North Queensland,4872 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kurandapost.com.au
Tel: +61 7 4035 9669 Fax: +61 7 4035 9414
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Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Hotel Melbourne The pace of the city within the peace of the park and walking distance to the Queen Victoria Markets and the New Quay Docklands restaurant precinct. 380 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000 email@example.com www.radisson/melbourne.au Tel: +61 3 9322 8000 Fax: +61 3 9322 8888
Are you Export Ready ? Be Export Ready! Ready to be
Ready to be
more effective, proficient, professional and successful.
Export Ready Report card: □ Know your markets: Korea/China/India/Japan
□ Starting a tourism export business
□ Understanding today’s distribution system
□ Commissions –
Wholesale Vs ITO
Export Ready is exciting online learning from ATEC’s NEW Tourism Export Institute. To find out more contact ATEC on 02 8262 5500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
□ Increase your yield
QFGI0124/Tails. Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901
Youâ€™ll see more of Australia with Qantas
Qantas offer the widest range of services across Australia. With more than 50 destinations around the country, fly with the airline that can show you the very best of Australia. Thatâ€™s the spirit. The Spirit of Australia. qantas.com