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New report highlights mining boom benefits to tourism



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

New Report Highlights Mining Boom Benefits to Tourism 25 November 2011

A new report by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) released today is the first in a two part study examining the impacts of the mining boom on the tourism industry and the complex interplay between these two vital sectors.

The report shows that the huge demand for Australia’s resources is boosting business travel to the benefit of aviation, food services and accommodation providers, particularly in mining regions.

As the biggest mining states, the tourism industries in Queensland and Western Australia have been the most significant beneficiary of this emerging trend. Bucking a declining national trend, Queensland and Western Australia were the only states to experience annual average growth in business visitor nights between 2000 and 2010.Australia's North West region was a particular stand-out recording annual average growth of ten per cent in this period.

Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland also recorded high levels of annual average growth in international business night over the decade to 2010, up 15 per cent, 11 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.

In 2010, 23 per cent of domestic business nights in Australia were by those who took an overnight trip to their usual place of work, that is, fly-in fly-out workers.

The highest percentage of nights by fly-in fly-out workers were in the two larger mining states of Western Australia and Queensland; 35 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

Accommodation takings across many of the mining-intensive regions have increased since 2005, with the strongest growth in the Darling Downs (up an average of 9.7 per cent per annum for the period 2005 to 2010) followed by Mackay and Australia’s North-West covering towns such as Karratha.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the growth in resources activity from the current commodities boom, which is driving this increased activity in some sectors and regions of the tourism industry is also creating pressures and competitive tensions in terms of labour and potential crowding out of traditional leisure markets.

“Long-term economic strength and resilience depends upon a diversified economy and the tourism industry, as a major employer, is vital in this regard,” Minister Ferguson said.

“There is no doubt that many leisure-tourism businesses are struggling from the effects of a strong Australian dollar and staff shortages, especially in mining regions.

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“But as this report shows, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth and the overall outlook remains positive.

“By catering for business travellers, fly-in fly-out workers and the growing number of visitors from China and other emerging markets, some Australian tourism businesses are thriving.

“As indicated in this report, the demand for labour in the resources sector is exceeding the demand for tourism related labour, especially in Western Australia and Queensland, however it is also important to note that employment in both sectors is growing.

“The resources and tourism sectors are of vital economic importance to regional communities, offering potential for real development opportunities, including in Indigenous communities.

“Cooperation between mining companies and Indigenous communities improves access to employment and training helping address labour shortages and potentially leading to the creation of more long term sustainable Indigenous tourism experiences and economic opportunities in regional areas.”

Phase 2 research on the impact of mining on tourism, with more detailed economic modelling, will be released in early 2012.

Tourism Research Australia’s The impact of the mining boom on tourism report is available at www.ret.gov.au/tra

Media Contact:

Cathryn Tilmouth - 0401 222 941

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