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The tourism and hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. The industry takes a larger portion of the economy and plays a vital role in the Australian economy. The tourism industry not only operates nationally but also fully participates in the global market economy. The industry is currently recording massive improvements especially due to the recovery in the world economy from the disastrous economic meltdown that was previously.
The Victoria tourism and hospitality industry stands out to be the second largest in the whole of Australia with flourishing businesses ranging from restaurants, cafes, hotel services, bars, pubs, clubs as well as well furnished apartments. The industry is famous for its high quality and customer friendly facilities that provide customers with the desired comfort (Kayler, 1995, p. 178).
Factors influencing the growth of the industry
The global economic recovery has led to the tremendous growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in Victoria. Victoria is also renowned for its quality restaurants and hospitality facilities that highly attract more tourists and visitors.
In addition to this, the industry incorporates a number of organizations and institutions that provide important information to their potential visitors and thereby making known worldwide the quality services provided in Victoria. Such organizations include the Baking Industry Association of Victoria and Artisan Bakers Association among others (Bergin and Jago 1999, p. 342).
Also the foreign investment regulations within the state are moderate and highly promote investment from the foreigners and therefore this has attracted many investments from both the foreign and local investors.
In addition to the above factors, tourism in Victoria has also been influenced primarily the reduction in the oil prices, which led to the subsequent reduction in airline surcharges and therefore leading to decrease in the airfares charges, especially regarding longer routes. This as a result has led to the increase in the number of tourists visiting the state.
Generally, Australia has improved its aviation facilities in the recent past, especially routes linking to the international countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. The increased capacity has translated into more visitors and tourists visiting the country.
SWOT Analysis of the Victoria state
As outlined before, the tourism and hospitality industry in Victoria is the second largest in Australia and the most famous because of the quality services offered by their ultra-modern facilities. The industry has a workforce of more than 115000 workers who accounts for a good percentage of 4.4% of the total labor force within Victoria State.
In Victoria State, hospitality and tourism incorporates a number of businesses whose services are tailored toward meeting the consumer’s ever increasing demands (Bergin and Jago 1999, p. 342).
They include accommodation facilities, restaurants, café, bars and pubs, catering services, facilities for hosting meetings and events both for business purposes, managing, and coordinating tour operations, providing relevant information to tourists, conducting tour guiding, managing holiday parks, conducting and organizing cultural tourism, casinos, and caravan park operations.
The state of Victoria is within the southern region of Australia that is widely known both locally and internationally as a key tourism destination. Therefore, the strategic location of the state is an added advantage to them (Kayler, 1995, p. 178).
The state has the aging population as their working population and due to inadequate skilled personnel within the young population, it means that most of the old staff is retained and this might lead to inefficiency and low output. There is need for skilled and experienced personnel within the young population to replace the old aging population
The target market for all the products and services mentioned above is mainly from both the international and the local tourists. For instance, a fall in the growth of tourism will translate into a reduction in the growth of the hospitality industry. This is due to the fact tourists, both local and international, play a major role in the utilization and consumption of the products and services offered in the hospitality industry.
Therefore, the hospitality industry is highly dependent on tourism. On the other hand, tourism also relies on the hospitality industry to some degree. For instance, high quality and attractive services offered in the hospitality industry can be used as an attraction to tourists who will visit these facilities in order to enjoy the wonderful services offered by them (Bergin and Jago 1999, p. 342).
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Victoria State covers only three percent of the Australia’s landmass and has a population of approximately 5.13 million people. In addition, almost half of the entire population is below 35 years and therefore forming a good market for the tourism and hospitality industry. The presence of a young population is a good sign that the industry shall continue flourishing due to the available of the domestic market.
Victoria also receives a larger number of international tourists who account for 25% of the all tourists visiting Australia. For instance, the state received 1.5 million tourists last year. Therefore, apart from the domestic tourists from within Australia, Victoria also receives a relatively large number of tourists. Most of their international tourists come from North America, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand.
Victoria has gone a step farther by embracing the online booking provisions in their tourism industry. The proposed system that is already in use is a national booking platform for both the international and the local tourists. The system is known as the Tourism Exchange Australia (TXA) that contains a large database of all the products and services provided by the Australian tourism and hospitality industry.
All the businesses listed by the Australian Tourism and Data Warehouse (ATDW) will have their products and services accessible online and booking made possible because the data warehouse contains all the vital information including the prices for the services and products. All the locally developed booking systems are also linked to this exchange system that enables online selling of the services and products and therefore increasing the sales for the industry.
The system also supports online establishment of agreements between the tourism industry and the prospective buyer and therefore making it more effective. Operators of the respective businesses can access the database and update their prices for the various services and products (Kayler, 1995, p. 178).
Domestically, the government and other institutions related to the industry have come up with strategies that are aimed at publicizing the industry to the Australian population. Some of the ways embraced by the state to advertise its tourism industry include play Melbourne campaign that advertises Melbourne as a city with hidden treasures.
This has been achieved through a number of ways including using local media and press and media. This is extended to the online websites and is meant to encourage local tourists from all over Australia to dare visit Melbourne and discover the treasures that lies within the city.
This is part of the larger Victoria jigsaw campaign meant to promote Victoria’s tourism and hospitality industry locally, within the Australian population and also reach to the international community. Also there are committees put in place to facilitate and coordinate regional campaigns. The publicity campaigns are aimed at branding all the cities and towns within Victoria as unique places worth visiting (Stabb, 1999, p. 123).
On the international scale, various campaigns and strategies have been formulated to see to it that the State’s tourism and hospitality industry is well known to the international community. There is an international marketing division, Tourism Victoria, which works closely with the other stakeholders within the industry in marketing Victoria to the international countries.
The division formulates winning strategies to market the industry in international countries. It has offices in other countries that fall within their target markets. This is to help in easier coordination of advertising activities in those countries and keep in touch with the potential customers (Kayler, 1995, p. 178).
Tourism Victoria works handy with Tourism Australia, Australian Airlines, major industry stakeholders in liaison with the Victorian tourism industry in a bid to sell the industry to the prospective tourists and visitors. The international marketing strategies are carried out in two ways including the trade and consumer strategies.
Both strategies are meant to assisting in attaining an increase in familiarity by the potential consumers on the tourism and hospitality facilities within Victoria. They are also targeted at branding Victoria as the leading tourist destination as far arts and cultures, events, recreation, catering, and wine services are concerned (Rose, 1991, p. 412).
In consumer marketing, Tourism Victoria has a stronger influence on all activities conducted by Tourism Australia in the foreign markets. In some instances, the division runs autonomous brand campaigns to advertise Victoria to the international community.
There is a website tailored to provide relevant information to those aspiring to visit Victoria as well as advertising it as the main destination point for all tourism activities. There are both written content and video on the website to provide the required information. The information available is in different languages so as to reach as many people as possible.
In trade marketing, Tourism Victoria works in partnership with Australian based inbound tour operators by organizing and coordinating workshops and trainings to familiarize them with available tourism opportunities within Victoria. The division also organizes trade fairs and exhibitions to their prospective consumers both nationally and internationally.
Tourism Australia also in partnership with local and international airlines carries out cooperative promotions for publicizing Victoria’s tourism potential to the international countries. This is done with most of the airlines and distribution networks and therefore widening their market by creating awareness among the potential consumers globally (Kotler, Bowen and Makens 2010, p. 441).
An official website managed by the state provides a variety of information to the potential visitors concerning the tourism facilities in Victoria State. There is a provision on the same website under tourism for the local tour operators and stakeholders in the hospitality industry to showcase their businesses on the website and display the range of products and services they offer. This form of online marketing is meant to cover as many businesses as possible and advertise them to the both local and international communities.
Conclusion and recommendations
From the information in the sections above, it is true that the tourism industry in Victoria has well established framework to support their activities at the same time ensure sustainability in the industry. The state has played a significant role in ensuring that Victoria continues not to be only Australia’s tourism destination point but also the world’s most attractive tourist site.
However, there are still shortcomings that need to be correction to ensure long term improvement and growth in the sector (Kayler, 1995, p. 178). Even though the industry seems to be on an upward trend, more is required for the industry to start operating at its optimum and therefore maximize on the available opportunities in the industry.
Both the government and the various stakeholders in the industry have a role to play in ensuring success of the industry. Therefore, the following are some of the recommendations that need consideration in order o reap maximally from the tourism and hospitality industry and make Victoria a tourism haven in the whole of Australia and the world at large.
The accreditation system put in place to certify operators in the industry needs improvement. The current system of accreditation has not had any impact on the service delivery to the final consumers. Some of the operators, even after receiving accreditation, are still rendering poor services to their customers.
A good number of businesses have untrained personnel who do not meet the requirements for the industry. Therefore, the government should consider such factors as employee skills and knowledge as well as availability of quality facilities before accrediting the operators. Also continued vetting should be thorough to ensure that accredited operators maintain the required standards of service provision to their customers (Bergin and Jago 1999, p. 342).
The government in partnership with the respective shareholders should build a competitive digital capability that will ensure Victoria competes favorably with the other international competitors. This can be achieved by incorporating more competent personnel in managing online marketing and coming up with ways of expanding the service so as to cover the entire global market.
The government should encourage investment into the tourism industry by offering more incentives and subsidies that will attract both the local and foreign investors into the industry. This will facilitate the expansion of the industry and therefore fasten its growth.
The government can also partner with the other stakeholders in developing the infrastructure, especially the transport and communication network within the state so as to open Victoria to the rest of the world. The various tourism sites should have a good transport system (Bergin and Jago 1999, p. 342).
The government should encourage domestic tourism and give more attention to the training of personnel to work in the industry. Regular workshops and trainings help sharpen the skills of those working in the industry and inform them of the current trends and emerging issues in the global market.
The state should work handy with the other states to eliminate cut-throat competition, especially on the international market. It will also give them a common bargaining front and therefore lead to reduction in trade barriers imposed on them by the international countries (Baum and Hagen 1999, p. 299).
Baum, T. and Hagen, L., 1999. Responses to Seasonality: the Experiences of Peripheral Destinations. International Journal of Tourism Research, 1(5), pp. 299-312.
Bergin, S. and Jago, L.J., 1999. Accreditation of Adventure Tour Operators: The Consumer Perspective 1999 CAUTHE National Research Conference. Adelaide Bureau of Tourism Research.
Kayler, T.W., 1995. Tourism Accreditation and Quality Assurance: Strategic Directions for Victoria. Tourism Victoria.
Kotler, P., Bowen, T.J. and Makens, C.J., 2010. Marketing for hospitality and tourism. 5th ed. Sydney: culinary and hospitality industry publication services.
Rose, R., 1991. What is Lesson-drawing? Glasgow: Centre for the Study of Public Policy.
Stabb, C., 1999. Review of Membership for Involvement in Cooperative Promotions Funded by Tourism Victoria. Tourism Victoria.