Skyrocketing tourism growth reveals worrying trend for Australia

A United Nations World Tourism Organisation and Griffith University report has found a substantial increase in Asia-Pacific tourism growth will impact Australian markets.

The report, released at the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, estimates that international arrivals to Asia and the Pacific will increase to 353 million, a mammoth 90 per cent jump from 2015.

Deputy Director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism(GIFT) Professor Noel Scott said tourism development in neighbouring Asian countries will lead to increasing tourist numbers in Australia.

“Tourism in Asia and the Pacific is growing at a far greater rate than any other in the world,” Professor Scott said.

“This means that future development will occur in our existing popular destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, creating hotspots and perhaps sparking adverse reaction from local residents.”

Professor Scott also said that many tourism hotspots such as Hong Kong and Bali are grossly underprepared for the rapid growth in international arrivals.

“There is currently no legal system providing the capacity to address sustainability issues in tourism destinations, especially those in growing Asian tourism regions,” Professor Scott said.

GIFT Deputy Director Professor Noel Scott

“There are laws allowing government agencies to undertake some relevant tasks but these are adhoc and partial.

“Other problems emerge around a lack of skills, money or will to enforce the laws.”

The United Nations has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.