Visitor economy expected to boost jobs

Posted: 27th Dec

Australia’s ‘visitor economy’ could provide the next big wave of entry-level jobs to replace junior jobs now declining in the retail sector, a new Victoria University study finds.

Research conducted for VU’s School for the Visitor Economy (SVE) shows Australia’s booming visitor economy – which currently accounts for one in 18, or about 650,000 jobs – will generate even more job opportunities, particularly for hotel and café workers, airport staff, and petrol station attendants. 

Report co-author associate professor Janine Dixon said many of the occupations set to expand in the visitor economy are often performed by students on a short-term basis.

“Relative to other similarly-skilled occupations in areas such as retail, these roles are less subject to replacement by new technologies. The visitor economy, therefore, is well placed to offer entry-level employment opportunities to students and other workers.”

The visitor economy is much broader than tourism and calculates goods and services purchased by three types of visitors: foreign tourists; international students; and domestic tourists, or Australians on holiday or on business within the country, who overwhelmingly dominate the sector.

Economic modelling examined the impact on jobs when each group was stimulated by one per cent.
Key findings include:

A one per cent increase in domestic tourism, which currently generates about 400,000, jobs and accounts for about two-thirds of spending in the visitor economy, means more jobs for transport workers such as drivers and pilots, as well as hotel and restaurant staff. However as Australians spend more on travel in the country, less of the household budget is spent in areas such as childcare and hairdressing, meaning decreasing demand for personal service roles.

A one per cent increase in overseas students will not surprisingly, lead to more jobs for university teachers, as well as more accommodation and food service jobs. While students make up only 6 per cent of all international arrivals or about 600,000 visitors, they typically spend 14 times as much as other overseas visitors because they stay much longer.

A one per cent increase in Australia’s international non-student tourists, who number about nine million visitors, will lead to about 2000 more jobs, particularly in accommodation and hospitality. However with strong demand comes pressure on the Australian dollar, making exports more expensive, and several hundred fewer jobs in export-focused areas such as mining.  

Source: MICEBTN -