Tourism has been identified as one of the most lucrative and fastest growing industries in the world. Australia's tourism industry is growing parallel with the world tourism industry but its share of the international market is less than one percent. The reason for this low share could be the distance and consequently the high cost of airfares to this country from the world' major travel markets.
The aims of this report are to examine tourist markets for Australia and to study the structure and behaviour of the supply sector with specific emphasis on the international standard accommodation sector in Queensland.
The Australian tourist market can be roughly divided into a domestic market and an overseas market. The domestic market is further subdivided according to the ages, incomes and preferences of the travellers. The overseas market is subdivided according to the country of origin. The major overseas sources of tourists to Australia are New Zealand, the U.S.A., the United Kingdom and Japan. The economic emergency of many Asian and Pacific countries has also opened new markets to Australia.
On the supply side, the crucial components of the tourism industry are: tourism organisations, travel agents, transport and accommodation. The tourism organisations provide a link between the business and public sectors and promote Australia to domestic and overseas travellers. Travel agents are the retailers of the tourism industry. In Australia, this sector is dominated by ten agencies who hold the major share of the market.
Air transport on international routes to Australia is dominated by Qantas, followed by Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Continental Airlines and Japan Airlines. Domestic routes are served by two trunk airlines, namely Ansett Airlines and Australian Airlines. Within each state and territory, one of the regional airlines tends to dominate the local market.
The accommodation sector is the most important sector in •the tourism industry. Large hotels play an important role in this sector. Recently, a very rapid growth in five-star hotels in Queensland has induced a fear of oversupply. This could cause a situation in which many operators often experience poor demand, with revenue below breakeven level. In such circumstances, operators generally lower their prices or increase their advertising expenditure, or make capital expenditures to attempt to attract more customers.
The vital solution to this problem of oversupply is to operate on a strategic marketing plan. A good strategic marketing plan searches for a niche in a market, designs a product which specifically satisfies the need for that market, and then promotes this product to the market at a price in such a way that competition• is unlikely to affect the firm's position.
A case study of five international hotels in South East Queensland illustrates how some hotels approach marketing. All but one of the hotels in the case study are run on well structured marketing plans. These plans take into account future trends and illustrate the reasons for the tremendous success of these firms in the hotel business.