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Tourism update: what we learned at the Destination Australia conference

Crowd listening to a presentation in a conference room

Tourism update: what we learned at the Destination Australia conference

EDITORIAL: Regionality Founder Rose Wright was in the room at the International Convention & Exhibition Centre (ICC) Sydney earlier this month when Tourism Australia hosted its Destination Australia conference.


Themed The next chapter for sustainable growth, Tourism Australia’s annual Destination Australia conference focused on the future of Australian tourism and identified eight tourism focal points for 2024:


  1. There’s a heightened sense of purpose, and connection to community and culture
  2. Premium is being redefined with a focus on wellness and adventure
  3. Changes in the distribution landscape are accelerating
  4. Back of house is coming to the fore, with the continued emergence of agritourism
  5. The growth of the east is there for the taking, as travel closer to home becomes popular
  6. The lure of influencers continues to captivate travellers to “set-jet” and “gig trip”
  7. Preferences for modes of travel continue to shift, with a surge in cruise, and self drive
  8. Business events continue to drive demand and repeat visitation.


At Regionality, we’ve been at the forefront of agritourism innovation and development in Australia for more than twenty years, advocating for recognition of the sector that connects farming and regional tourism. We believe most regions have the potential to develop authentic agritourism experiences, so after recent interest in the sector and the great work of Australian Regional Tourism on a national Roadmap, we certainly weren’t surprised but were thrilled all the same to see agritourism recognised and feature so prominently as a key theme for Tourism Australia this year.


Analysis by the CSIRO estimates that the annual opportunity for agritourism in Australia will reach around $18.6 billion by 2030, with domestic visitors driving the most growth in the sector, the international visitor demand from China, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan and India will be a significant opportunity as the focus on regional dispersal of international visitors continues.


With consumers increasingly valuing an immersive travel experience and a shift continuing towards self-drive holidays, the market for existing agritourism offerings across regional Australia is growing by the minute. There is much opportunity for farmers looking to diversify their business; travellers are seeking to uncover undiscovered regions, and they are increasingly interested in Australian food, drink, local cultural and Indigenous experiences, while immersing themselves in nature and wellness experiences.


Some other key take-outs relevant to agritourism got us thinking, like:


  • The idea of “sustainability” is constantly evolving; it considers taking care of both our country and our culture whilst building a viable and profitable sector.
  • Business event visitors to Australia (from overseas) spend 74% more than leisure visitors to our country, and 60% of these visitors are likely to stay longer and bring their partner along for the experience.
  • Demand for luxury travel experiences is expected to remain strong.
  • Solo travellers are looking to make connections.
  • More than 20% of the global population has a disability of some kind and for every $1 invested into accessibility, there is a $13 return.


There are clear opportunities emerging here for regional tourism and particularly agritourism operators involved in farm produce sales, farm experiences, farm produce tastings, on-farm and farm-to-plate dining experiences, farm-based events and farm accommodation offerings. By looking at your established business values and capacity with these trends in mind, there may be some easy updates or transitions that could help you to develop your existing markets.


Looking to diversify your farming business or existing agritourism offering? Whether it’s a new venture, an innovation or renewal, Regionality’s Agritourism Business Development Programs have helped hundreds of farmers across Australia to learn about tourism, brand development and plan their agritourism venture in a way that compliments their core business of farming.


We’ve got a number of opportunities to engage with our programs coming up; subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear about them here.

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