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Australia Market Profile

Australia’s economy has been characterized by steady growth over the past decade and a half, which has correlated with strong international travel increases. That growth is only expected to continue, and in 2010, Visit California launched brand marketing in the market. Australian travelers are prone to explore beyond the Golden State’s gateways, seeking an authentic, experiential journey rather than individual attractions and destinations.


  • California is the No. 1 long-haul travel destination for Australians
  • Australian visitation numbers have increased year-over-year since 2009
  • Brag-worthy, “only-in-California” experiences are extremely important to Australian travelers
  • Four or more weeks of annual leave is the norm
  • California is seen as a journey rather than an escape
  • Repeat visitation is driven by Australian consumers’ unprecedented access to cheaper airfare to the United States

Australia Profile

In-Person Trips, 2017
$929 Million
Visitor Spending, 2017

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

Australia’s economy is dominated by its services sector, yet its economic success is based on the abundance of agricultural and mineral resources. The Australian economy grew 1.8 percent in the 12 months ending September 2017, softer than the two previous 12 month periods. Despite the decline in economic growth, consumer confidence remains solid and intention to travel internationally remains at all-time highs, driven by competitive airfares to destinations across the globe.

Exchange Rate

  • 1 Australian Dollar Equals 0.79 U.S. Dollar
  • The Australian dollar has oscillated between 75 and 80 U.S. cents for the past year, a reasonable exchange rate and one that doesn’t polarize and impact either positively or negatively on travel plans. Airfares continue to be on offer at record lows, ensuring that intention to travel remains high.

Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 86 weekly nonstop flights
  • 24,933 weekly nonstop seats
  • Qantas announced the addition of 4 more weekly Melbourne-SFO for late 2018.
  • Flight prices continue to be competitive, with $899/$999 roundtrip cost during sale periods.
  • There are good connections to multiple California cities via Hawaii Airlines.


  • Planning timeframe: up to six months
  • Booking timeframe: two to four months
  • The planning and booking process has become increasingly fragmented.
  • Flights and land are booked across a variety of traditional and online sources.
  • Australians are still highly likely to use travel agents during both the research and booking phases for some aspect(s) of their travel.

Market Barriers & Risk Factors


Competitive Landscape

For travelers seeking certain amenities or attractions, select cities continue to be of most interest:


Other Market Insights


  • With over 70 percent of Australian visitors to the United States being repeat travelers, a two-tiered strategy is paramount. California must continue to promote first-time visits, focusing on iconic experiences in the state, while also targeting repeat travelers (who will naturally be looking for something new).
  • The United States continues to be the No. 1 long-haul travel destination for Australians.


  • Since Australia offers similar vacation experiences to California, unique, bragworthy, “only in California” experiences are extremely important to Australian travelers.
  • Australians make travel a priority. Australians enjoy four weeks of annual leave per year in addition to public holidays.


  • As airline competition for market share intensifies, consumers have experienced unprecedented access to cheap flights from both Australia and New Zealand to the United States, and this has driven a trend toward repeat visitation and more frequent, shorter breaks to more diverse U.S. destinations.
  • The most popular activities for Australian travelers include: shopping; sightseeing; visiting national parks and monuments; taking guided tours; visiting historical locations; experiencing fine dining; visiting small towns and the countryside; visiting art galleries and museums; visiting amusement and theme parks; attending concerts, plays and musicals; visiting cultural and ethnic heritage sites; and attending sporting events.



  • Roy Morgan
  • Trading Economics
  • AQX
  • DIIO
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics
  • Carat CCS
  • ITA
  • National Travel and Tourism Office from the Summary of International Travel to the U.S. (I-94) Report