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Australian Tourism Export Council

Common brand essential for Australian tourism export industry

An international Australian trading brand shared and used by all Australian export industries is an essential tool for keeping the $23 billion Australian tourism export industry competitive, the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said. “While Australia’s tourism brand is performing well on the world stage, we need an overall international brand which can be used by all…

An international Australian trading brand shared and used by all Australian export industries is an essential tool for keeping the $23 billion Australian tourism export industry competitive, the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said.

“While Australia’s tourism brand is performing well on the world stage, we need an overall international brand which can be used by all sectors and industries, including education, manufacturing and agriculture, to enable them to cross-sell each other’s products and services,” said ATEC Managing Director Matt Hingerty.

Mr Hingerty was commenting on the release of the latest International Visitor Survey, which showed that inbound visitor numbers grew by only two percent, to 5.2 million visitors, for the year ending December 2007*.

Mr Hingerty said this figure compared poorly with recent statistics which showed tourism growing in the Asia-Pacific region by ten percent, in the Middle East by 13 percent, and globally by 6.2 percent over the same period.

He said establishing a globally-recognised Australian trading brand was an important element in developing export opportunities for all industry sectors, not just tourism.

“On the face of it this was a mediocre performance for inbound tourism in 2007, and we are facing an equally tough year in 2008,” Mr Hingerty said. “Australia needs to squeeze every last ounce out of what unique benefits we do have.”

“Australia is a great global trading nation with its products, services, art and culture. However there is nothing stitching it all together other than the annual ‘Gday USA’ festivities. ATEC endorses calls for a brand council and an instantly recognisable trading brand for Australia.”

Mr Hingerty said that recent economic developments affecting exports such as the strong Australian dollar and rising domestic interest rates, as well as the recent poor Balance of Payments economic indicators meant it is vital that Australia does a better job in building a national trading brand than it has done until now.

“For example, thirty-four million people travelled through Dubai last year. The hire car fleet in Dubai is mainly Holdens manufactured and exported from Adelaide – yet they are rebadged as Chevrolets and do not carry any other Australian branding,” Mr Hingerty said. “Yet go into any shop around the world selling Swiss products and they all carry the Swiss brand prominently.”

Mr Hingerty said it was high time an official globally-promoted trading brand representing all that is best about Australia was developed for the world market.

“The tourism industry has proposed an Australian international trading brand in the past, most recently via the lobby group TTF Australia, but the idea was not followed through by the previous Federal Government,” Mr Hingerty said.

* Tourism Research Australia – International Visitors in Australia: December Quarter 2007

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