New research shows three quarters of Australians want governments to do more to bring major events to their states to boost tourism, jobs and the economy, according to the leading national tourism body, the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
Today is World Tourism Day and TTF CEO Margy Osmond said the research by leading global insights firm Repucom showed Australians understood the importance of growing tourism to boost employment and the economy.
“With the unemployment rate at its highest level in more than a decade and jobs declining in old-economy sectors like mining and manufacturing, Australians understand that tourism is the employer of the future,” Ms Osmond said.
“Tourism in this country already supports nearly 1 million people and generates $100 billion in economic activity. With government support, there is a strong potential for tourism to do so much more in terms of generating jobs and stimulating the economy.
“World Tourism Day – which celebrates the fact that 1 billion people travel internationally each year – is a good time to let our decision makers know that Australians support tourism and want governments to do more to get behind it.”
The national monthly survey of nearly 900 people has consistently found that around three-quarters (74%) of people believe that it is important for state and territory governments to be involved in attracting and securing sporting, cultural and popular musical events.
“This shows that people want their governments to be active and energetic in seeking out quality events that really offer them the opportunity to have a unique experience,” Ms Osmond said.
The survey found a third of Australians are willing to travel overnight for a major event, and 20% of these people will also head overseas to do so.
Residents of the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania are more likely to travel interstate for a major event.
Ms Osmond said “The top events that attract overnight travel are major sport events (38%) and popular music concerts and festivals (36%). When it comes to preferences, sporting events got the big tick from men and women were keener on a taste of culture.
“It will be interesting to see this willingness to travel to major events play out next weekend with the onus on Queenslanders to travel to Sydney for the all-Queensland NRL grand final, and West Australians making their way to Melbourne for the AFL grand final.
“These major sporting events have significant local economic impacts.”
“The respondents are telling us that the price tag and how hard it is to get a ticket are the biggest hurdles to attending more big events, while nearly a third of busy people say they can’t find the time to attend an event.”
“When we asked people how they would most like to spend their spare time the good news is that travel was by far the number one choice. The other top options were music, film and food and wine.”
“The ACT and NSW were the states most focused on a visit to the theatre or an art gallery. Locals from these two states were well above the national average for interest in the performing arts, the visual arts and classical music,” Ms Osmond said
In terms of mass participation events like City to Surf style running events, these are most popular in Western Australia and NSW, and least popular in Tasmania and South Australia.