Election Year | China NY | Award Winners | GST Reclaim | WA Product Gap Analysis

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From the Managing Director

Congratulations to all the ATEC members who received an award at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Gala Dinner held in Melbourne on Friday 5th February - a great evening celebrating the achievements of our industry.

This year’s federal election presents an opportunity to ensure our priorities are included in the policy platforms of both the Liberal and Labor parties in the lead-up to the election. Reviewing and confirming ATEC’s policy priorities will therefore be an agenda item when the ATEC Board meets in Canberra for its annual strategic planning retreat later this month.

Key policy positions under discussion include removing the inequitable taxes and charges imposed on international travellers including visa fees and the passenger movement charge, addressing inefficient visa application / processing which reduces our competitiveness as a destination with a focus on China, Indonesia, India and South America. We will continue to push for as additional funding for Tourism Australia to ensure the industry’s marketing agency can continue to drive travel demand with effective campaigns whilst competing within a cluttered and competitive global tourism marketplace.

The 2016 federal election is shaping up as important litmus test of the major political parties to prove their genuine commitment to the tourism export sector and to help maximise its potential as a key economic driver and jobs factory of the future.

All the best,

Peter Shelley, Managing Director

Lunar New Year highlights changing market

Luna new year
Celebrations are well underway across the country, as the Lunar New Year becomes a significant peak in China market arrivals. Insights recently received from ATEC members deeply engaged in this market suggest that the rapid growth of the FIT traveller continues, while groups seem to have plateaued. This suggests that the Chinese are becoming more confident about organising their own travel plans; that Australia is becoming a more ‘comfortable' destination to travel around; and that repeat visitors and the VFR sector are increasingly exploring outside the major cities. Interesting to note that whilst Chinese arrivals grew 22% in 2015, the average expenditure grew 43% - twice the amount compared to the next biggest spending market (United Kingdom). Click here for more 

Congratulations to National Award winners

Award Winners 2015

Congratulations to all members who were recognised for their efforts at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Gala Night held in Melbourne on Friday night including;

Major Tourist Attraction - Sovereign Hill (VIC) – Gold, Port Arthur Historic Site (TAS) – Silver; Taronga Zoo (NSW) – Bronze.
Cultural Tourism - Venture North Australia (NT) – Gold, Port Arthur Historic Site (TAS) – Silver;
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism - Voyages Ayers Rock Resort (NT) – Gold;
Specialised Tourism Services - Canberra Airport - (ACT) – Gold;
Business Event Venue - Chateau Elan at The Vintage (NSW) – Bronze;
Major Tour & Transport Operators - Searoad Ferries (VIC) – Gold, Reef Magic Cruises (QLD) – Silver; Adams Pinnacle Tours (WA) – Bronze;
Tour & Transport Operators  - Uluru Camel Tours (NT) – Bronze;
Adventure Tourism - Uluru Camel Tours (NT) – Silver; 
Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services - AAT Kings Uluru BBQ Dinner (NT) – Silver;
Caravan & Holiday Parks - BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday Park (NSW) – Gold, BIG4 Beacon Resort (VIC) – Silver, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort (QLD) – Bronze;
Unique Accommodation - Taronga Western Plains Zoo (NSW) – Gold;
Luxury Accommodation - The Playford (SA)  - Bronze.

New member “Friend to the Fold” initiative

Friend to the fold

If you are aware of a non-member business, either a buyer or seller working the export market that you think may benefit by joining the ATEC network – let’s work together to mentor and assist that business into the export space.  To assist, we are launching a ‘Friend to the Fold’ campaign starting this February and running through until ATE in May - introduce a new member and you will go into the draw for the chance to have your Meeting Place 2016 attendance on us (conditions apply). Any ‘Friends to the Fold’ that join between now and ATE will be included in the list of ATEC Approved buyers & sellers distributed at ATE. Contact for more information on how to participate.

ITO GST reclaim update

ITO GST Reclaim Update

Following an overwhelming number of responses from member ITOs seeking to reclaim up to 3 years of GST payments, we are pleased to report that all ITOs who have lodged their expression of interest have now had their initial paperwork lodged with the ATO – the start of their refund process. Don’t worry if you haven’t been in touch yet: there is still time to lodge your application for a refund, but don’t delay, time is running out and there is only a small window in which the ATO will permit refunds to be administered – the ATO is working on a ‘first in first served’ process. Contact Anna Taylor today to start your GST refund process.

ELITE – emerging leaders program 2016 

ELITE is back, bigger and better than before with applications for ELITE 2016 opening soon! The interest in the lead up to applications reopening have been phenomenal, prompting us to double the spaces available in the program for both Emerging Leaders and Mentors. Do you have a team member who would be perfect for our Emerging Leaders program? Or would you be a great mentor for a future leader? If so, email Jennifer Bruce and ensure you’re first to hear when 2016 applications launch! – definitely limited spaces, don’t miss out!

WA inbound product gap analysis

The ATEC WA branch, in partnership with Tourism WA has made significant progress in the development of an inbound product gap analysis that forms the first phase of a WA product capacity building program. The gap analysis phase has engaged a broad cross-section of ITOs and in-market mangers to define the product/experience needs of various markets. Upon completion, the gap analysis will help identify opportunities for WA product to expand their offering/strategically partner with others to ensure a closer alignment between market expectations and product/experiences offered.

TasBound – watch this space!

Given the huge success of this event last year, ATEC will once again partner with Tourism Tasmania in running the second TasBound workshop and famil event to take place in Tasmania on 27th April through to 3rdMay. Tasmania is generating a lot of interest in the international markets given its diversity of easily accessible experiences, generating a great deal of interest from buyers across many markets – buyers and sellers encouraged to ‘save these dates’. 

 MP15 wrap

MeetingPlace 2015

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards an extremely successful Meeting Place in December 2015,  it was certainly a great end of year celebration. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback with many citing Doug Lansky’s thought-provoking messages on smart destination development, the inspirational Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and Royal Randwick’s world-class conference facilities as being the highlights of a well received industry engagement program.

Thanks again to all of you who took the time to complete our survey, Sue Lassen from One Pacific is the lucky recipient who was drawn out of a hat to receive the prize of a domestic Qantas return flight to any capital city - congratulations Sue!   

Click here to view the gallery of photos from Meeting Place 2015, feel free to share these on your social media using #atecMP15

ATEC at Australian Tennis Open

What an amazing day at the Australian Open tennis organised by the Vic/Tas committee this year. An impressive event all round which was thoroughly enjoyed by the 50 plus members in attendance. A huge thank you to our valued sponsors Choice Hotels Asia-Pac and Eureka Skydeck for facilitating this memorable day

Canberra SQ flights

Congratulations to Canberra Airport on the recent announcement that Singapore Airlines would be the first international airline to operate regularly scheduled international flights from Australia’s capital. Congratulations to all involved including Canberra Airport Chairman, Mr Terry Snow AM, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Bar, Visit Canberra Managing Director Ian Hill and the broader ACT tourism industry who have been united in pursuing this opportunity over recent years.

1.2 billion global travellers in 2015
Global Traveller

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 billion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014. 2015 marks the 6th consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post global financial crisis year of 2010. China continues to lead global outbound travel with double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004. As for the traditional advanced economy source markets, expenditure from the United States (+9%), the world’s second largest source market, and the United Kingdom (+6%) was boosted by a strong currency and rebounding economies. 

Dates for your diary

2-6 March, 2016
SQLD Workshop and Famil

Buyer registrations are fully subscribed, click here to register as a seller or contact Don Jolly for more information

14-17 April, 2016
Registrations to open soon, contact Alanna Green for more information

18-20 March, 2016
Canberra on Show
Buyer registrations are by invitation only, click here to register as a seller or contact Mel Swain for more information

27-3 May, 2016
Registrations to open soon, contact Alanna Green for more information

7-10 April, 2016
Registrations to open soon, contact Alanna Green for more information


2-3 June, 2016
Save the date!

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