The importance of demographics in driving tourism and visitation

The importance of demographics in driving tourism and visitation

Rob Hall 09 Feb, 2017

Last year .id was engaged by Blacktown City Council to analyse tourism and visitation trends in Blacktown. Yes, you read correctly, tourism in Blacktown… Let’s take a look at how a council’s demographic diversity can be an economic asset.

Much has been written about the improved conditions for tourism in Australia, with international visitor arrivals recently surging. Short-term arrivals to Australia reached 8.06 million in the year ended September 2016. This is up 39% since the year ended September 2011.

Surging visitor growth: Short-term arrivals to Australia 2006-2016


This growth in visitors can be largely explained by the recent fall in exchange rates and improvements to aviation capacity. In July 2011, the Australian dollar reached its highest point of US$1.1 however, it is now hovering around the US$0.75 mark. This is great news for tourism as a lower exchange rate makes Australia relatively more affordable for international visitors, while at the same time making it more expensive for locals to travel overseas.

But this is only one part of the story. Our demographic past plays an important role in driving visitation (not just tourism) across Australia…

Our analysis of Blacktown showed its primary tourism function is that of a visitation hub, attracting friends and relatives both domestically and internationally. There are three key components in Blacktown’s demographic past driving this growth in visitation:

  • Overseas migration to NSW
  • Population born overseas
  • Outward migration profile.

Read the detailed case study of Blacktown’s visitor economy.

In short, Blacktown’s demographic diversity can be viewed as an economic asset. This story rings true for councils in Australia with high overseas born populations. A council’s diversity can help the local community tap into the global economy, creating relationships, providing business opportunities and sharing knowledge.

.id is a team of demographers, urban economists, spatial planners and data experts who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help governments and organisations understand their local economies. Access our free economic resources to help profile your local economy.

Rob Hall

Rob is driven by a desire to help shape communities for a better future. Trained as an economist, he has a unique twenty-year background in economics, demographics, statistics and strategic planning with a focus on understanding how economic forces influences local government areas across Australia. At .id, Rob provides Local Government with high-quality analysis and information tools, including specialised consulting services and tailored information products such as

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