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Trend analysis for Luxury Tourism in Australia ~ 2012

A candid review of observations of Luxury Tourism Trends in Australia by Michael Chorney. Director of ’Riverview Rise Retreats’


Owners of the 5 STAR ’Riverview Rise Retreats(
Located on the Murray River, in Mannum some 80 KM from Adelaide in South Australia, have noted a number of specific trends in the Luxury Tourism market since the GFC. General Industry observations may be similar to Riverview Rise Retreats but if not, please respond to this article so that between us Industry members we can ‘Stop the Rot’, learn, and hopefully help our Tourism Industry grow. Australia is the envy of the world, yet our Tourism Industry is suffering from a situation worse than during  the 1930’s Depression.
Over the last 12 months what has been noted is:

  1. Bookings from the USA have just about died. Riverview Rise Retreats management predictions of the ‘Oprah Winfrey campaign’ by Tourism Australia being an absolute flop, came in on target. A lot of money spent on attracting the lower socioeconomic demographic who have no money and at best travel to Disneyland and alike.
  2.  Bookings from Europe, including the UK, also understandably diminished due to the high AU$ HOWEVER those that did book were far more discerning. They were very specific in what they wanted & why they wanted it - they ALL booked directly online though targeted websites and not though travel agencies.
  3.  Domestic Market bookings have fluctuated in accordance to the level of scare mongering about the economy by the media/press. It is evident that the Gillard Government’s policy management has frightened people from spending. The negative Abbott Liberal campaign has only helped to fuel the negativism in Australian touring public hence assisting Gillard in slowing the tourism sector.
  4.  Tourism in this NEW economy is vastly different to what it was some 5 years ago.
  • A.. No longer is it adequate to have a web presence that is ambiguous with pretty pictures of rooms & views that people cannot really have.
  • B.. The industry can no longer depend on the mass booking sites as there are so many of them fighting for the same piece of turf that their effect-ability is now diluted.
  • C.. Bookings through State Tourism bodies all fed thought the ATDW | Australian Tourism Data Warehouse are hopeless at best. The organization is hell bent on preserving the status-quo of keeping all players on a level playing field allowing NO flexibility for marketing prowess, individuality - here we are all equal with the only differentiation being our specific geographic location.
  • D.. The ’New Age’ traveler now lives online. They are very specific in what they want, they understand that it is better dealing Direct with the provider but most importantly they are not prepared to accept second best. Their choices have grown exponentially so if they are to be attracted, they need to be motivated – industry providers need to understand that What they attract customers with isn’t necessarily what they sell to them or what they make their money on!

Operators need to Sell Experiences - not just tell people how good the facility is and that guests get; FREE Fluffy Slippers. The days of standard advertising to get bums in beds have long gone. To flourish in hard times operators need to get previous guests to do the selling for them via public Guestbooks/Testimonials. People believe a third party before they believe you - especially if it’s about you!

Finally, it is crucial to have first page visibility on Google Search and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for key words such as “secluded mountain retreats” or in the case of Riverview Rise Retreats “Romantic getaways South Australia”.
These ARE the keys to the hearts of the prospective booking public. To get all this right is a whole new ball game. It may require different websites to attract different portions of the market. It requires some understanding of neuro-linguistic communication. It requires an investment in TIME to learn how to connect with persuasion but the rewards are well worth the effort.

To illustrate the above is provided links to 3 of 6 websites for perusal. It will be seen that they all communicate to totally different markets hence explaining the fundamental growth of ’Riverview Rise Retreats’


 Australian tourism trends
 tourism advertising
 Australian tourism 2012
 Tourism Marketing AU
 Marketing Australia

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