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Aussie Farms and Tourism: A Stronger Link

australian agriculture

Recent ABS data has highlighted a fascinating new insight; namely, that popularity of Australian farm visits is soaring for foreign tourists.

Although typically it's the big iconic sites that are well-known for attracting tourists to places like the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, as of late, people are increasingly seeking out farms to experience the famous Aussie Outback.

Anyone involved in the Tourism sector should not ignore farms as a growing source of interest and revenue from tourists visiting the country.

Let's take a closer look at the numbers:

In the Year Book Australia 2012, a feature article recognised The Year of the Australian Farmer looks at the link between tourism and Australian farms. Each year, thousands of international and domestic visitors experience Australian farms.

The International Visitor Survey (IVS) and the National Visitor Survey (NVS) capture data on the number and type of people who participate in the activity visiting a farm while travelling.

International visitors to Australian farms

In 2010, there were 569,000 international visitors who visited Australian farms, representing 10% of international visitor arrivals. This increase of 50,300 since 2009 (graph S23.1) was driven by a strong growth in visitors from China, South Korea, and Taiwan (the increases were in the order of 34% and above).

 

S23.1 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS(a), Visited farms

 

The primary source countries for international visitors to farms were China, excluding SARs and Taiwan (108,000) and the United Kingdom (67,800) (table S23.2). Of all countries, visitors from China were the most likely to visit farms while travelling (25% of all Chinese visitors), followed by Taiwan (22%) and Korea, Republic of (South) (20%). Over the long term, the largest growth of international visitors to farms came from Malaysian travellers (a 65% increase in the 5 years from 2006 to 2010), followed by China (62% increase) and Taiwan (33% increase).

S23.2 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO FARMS(a), By major source countries
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)
66.5
87.2
76.2
77.9
108.0
United Kingdom
82.4
69.7
67.2
70.9
67.8
Korea, Republic of (South)
55.7
51.2
39.2
30.1
40.4
United States of America
43.0
38.3
41.4
39.6
34.9
Singapore
29.6
31.8
33.6
29.8
31.0
New Zealand
29.2
34.6
30.8
29.6
29.9
Malaysia
16.4
19.8
22.7
28.3
27.1
Germany
25.6
26.4
24.5
22.7
25.5
Japan
38.1
32.0
28.8
22.6
21.0
Taiwan
13.3
18.8
14.9
13.1
17.7

(a) All visitors aged 15 years and over. Includes backpackers.
Source: Tourism Research Australia, 2011, International Visitors in Australia, December quarter 2010.







 

Interestingly enough, of all international tourists who travelled to Australia for educational purposes, 15% visited farms. This points to the fact that farming is contributing to brand Australia, as more visitors go to farms and stay overnight to experience The Outback.


S23.3 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO FARMS(a), By main purpose of trip - 2010

Domestic overnight visitors

Domestic visitor trends paint a less encouraging picture. With the strong Australian Dollar it seems many travellers are heading overseas rather than visiting local attractions.

In 2010, there were 931,000 domestic overnight travellers who visited farms, representing 1.4% of overnight visitors. This was a decrease of 80,000 from 2009 and a decrease of 207,000 since 2006 (graph S23.4). Almost half (48%) of overnight visitors to farms in 2010 travelled for the purposes of holiday or leisure, and 44% travelled to visit friends and relatives. 


S23.4 OVERNIGHT VISITORS(a), Visited farms

New South Wales received the most visitors to farms (36%) followed by Victoria (22%) and Queensland (18%) (graph S23.5). 

S23.5 OVERNIGHT VISITORS, VISITED FARMS(a), By state/territory visisted - 2010

Domestic day visitors to Australian farms

During the year ended 2010, there were 1.0 million domestic day trips to farms, which accounted for less than 1% of domestic day visitors. This was a decrease of 119,000 from 2009 (graph S23.6). In 2010, of all day visitors who visited farms, the main purpose of their visit was for holiday or leisure (60%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (29%). 

S23.6 DAY VISITORS(a), Visisted farms 

So it's becoming increasingly clear that Aussie farms are playing a bigger role both as a source of tourist income as well as forming part of a visitor's perception of Australia. The rising popularity of farm visits means marketers involved in the Tourism sector would be wise not to ignore this trend and should look to ways to integrate the Australian Farming experience in their offer.

ACA Research conduct market research across a wide range of Australia industry sectors, including the Agriculture, Tourism, and Natural Resources industries. If you would like to find out more about our research schedule for our omnibus surveys in particular, please download the calendar:

 

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