Australia’s vibrant tourism industry isn’t just about cosmopolitan cities. With 43 cents of every tourism dollar spent outside of capital cities, the importance of regional tourism cannot be underestimated. Tourism is a key driver of the economy and the lifeblood of the many of the country’s regional destinations, employing around 1 in 13 (over half a million) Australians.
Support for Regional Tourism Investment
Austrade and Tourism Australia have developed a Regional Tourism Infrastructure Investment Attraction Strategy to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) for regional tourism infrastructure, helping to spread the benefits of the visitor economy beyond Australia’s major gateway cities.
The Strategy aims to work across governments and industry to promote tourism investment as a priority within eight key regions in Australia, and to identify and overcome local impediments that may be holding back supply of visitor experiences and broader investment. These impediments may range from a lack of existing visitor attractions or international flights, to a regulatory system that makes investment challenging for the broader industry.
Regional hot spots for investment
Many tourism icons and bucket-list spots are located across Australia’s stunning regional destinations, allowing for opportunities across food and wine, beaches and islands, nature and wildlife, culture and heritage and wellness. In 2019, regional Australia attracted 194 million domestic and international visitors, seeking a range of world-class experiences.
Eight tourism regions, featuring some of Australia’s most iconic tourism sites, are being targeted: The Whitsundays (Queensland), Canberra (Australian Capital Territory), Snowy Mountains (New South Wales), East Coast Tasmania (Tasmania), Great Ocean Road (Victoria), Kangaroo Island (South Australia), Margaret River (Western Australia) and Katherine (Northern Territory). These pilot regions cover all eight states and territories and have been selected as they exhibit:
- Strong growth in tourist visitation.
- Iconic or outstanding natural attributes.
- Strong brand recognition and marketing support.
- Well-developed supporting economic and social infrastructure.
All levels of government are working collaboratively to attract investment into these regions.
Australia is in the midst of a tourism boom, experiencing record visitation and expenditure. Regional Australia is benefiting from the industry’s strong performance, with visitors to regional Australia increasing on average by 6.1 per cent per annum over the past five years.
If Australia is to continue to provide unique experiences into the future, we need to provide more reasons for travellers to disperse beyond our capital cities and enjoy high quality products. Recent growth in regional foreign direct investment and increased international visitor dispersal have created the ideal climate for investment into regional areas. Expanding aviation capacity and forecasted visitor growth from emerging Asian markets will further set it in good stead.
Tourism investment examples
Australia has already attracted some high profile examples of tourism investment in regional Australia. There are a range of opportunities outside capital cities for investors to capitalise on current and projected growth in tourism.
Jackalope Hotel, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
- Opened April 2017
- Development cost - $20 million
- China's KCC Real Estate Development Company (KCC) has completed work on a A $20 million boutique hotel project on the Mornington Peninsula - its first hotel development outside of China.
The d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale, South Australia
- Opened December 2017
- Development cost - $15 million
- The d'Arenberg Cube, a multi-million dollar, four-storey, multi-dimensional architectural dream, widly angled and toned, with glass and mirror construction is perched in the middle of the existing hiltop d'Arenberg winery complex, McLaren Vale, in South Australia.
Crystalbrook Collection, Queensland
- Opening 2018-2020
- Development cost - $370 million
- Ghassen Aboud's Crystalbrook Collection has announced the development of four landmark Cairns hotels in addition to the construction of a Superyacht Marina and resort in Port Douglas. The overall collection is expected to inject $900 million into the economy.
Investors have a real opportunity to take advantage of growth in regional Australia and be part of the booming Australian tourism story. Austrade and Tourism Australia are developing in-depth value propositions for high quality, investment ready tourism regions of interest to international investors.
Austrade has a network of investment specialists around the world, offering comprehensive and confidential assistance that can help you make the right investment decisions.
For more information or to contact an investment specialist near you, visit www.tourisminvestment.com.au