Destination Australia: Trends and Opportunities for Tourism Operators 2023

First published on April 3, 2023
Last updated on August 18, 2023

At Tourism Tribe, we pride ourselves on keeping you, our Tourism community, up to date with industry trends and opportunities, and translating research insights into practical advice and actions so you can activate continual improvements in your tourism business.

On 16th March 2023 our CEO, Liz Ward and Business Development Manager, Amanda Hinton had the privilege of attending the Destination Australia conference in Sydney, hosted by Tourism Australia. Phillipa Harrison (Pip), Managing Director of Tourism Australia, delivered an inspiring presentation that set the scene for 2023 opportunities resulting from trending consumer behaviours and technologies. She covered current travel consumer drivers, accessibility, sustainability, content marketing and ChatGPT, synthesising a hit list of what the tourism industry needs to be considering and implementing, to remain competitive as businesses.

Below we share key take-aways from Pip’s presentation, with practical actions you can take to make the most of 2023 trends.

Trend #1: Health concerns shifted to wealth concerns
Consumers’ priorities have shifted, and health is no longer the primary concern. With rising interest rates and increased cost of living many people have now placed a priority on wealth over health.

Action: Take a moment and reflect on what makes your product unique and how the value of your product is perceived, and instead of reducing your price point amplify your value.

Trend #2: A renaissance of indulgence travel is upon us
As a society despite the increased costs of living we still feel the need to spoil ourselves. We want the pleasure of indulgence and escapism from our daily lives. Indulgence means something different to everybody. It is not just an expensive holiday, it can be a moment of luxury.

Action: Consider the simple moments of indulgence people can have with your product. Is it a room upgrade, going on a day trip or simply buying dessert? Incorporate this experience into your offer and communicate it clearly.

Trend #3: People want purpose in life and travel
People are looking for a purpose in their daily lives and travel. Their values have changed, and they want to know they are giving back and not just taking. Consideration and awareness of a product’s sustainability has become crucial in the decision-making process. The benchmark on sustainability is changing quickly and as an operator you need to keep up. Your potential customers want to know what you are doing to make your product/experience sustainable.

Action: Communicate clearly what you are doing to preserve the environment, contribute to your community and preserve and respect culture.

Trend #4: Being inclusive and accessible broadens the net
By ensuring your product is inclusive and accessible you are broadening the net of who your product appeals to. Currently in Australia, one in four people have accessibility needs, and by not accommodating these people you are also excluding the people they travel with including carers, family and friends.

Action: Don’t be afraid to start with the small steps in making your product more accessible. You can find more information on our blog post Accessible Tourism – What is it & Why You Should Consider it For Your Small Business.

Trend #5: Travel planning has fundamentally shifted to “Always on Discovery”
‘Discovery and dreaming’ is no longer considered a stage of travel; it is a state that we are always in. We are constantly being exposed to discovery content on social channels from our friends’ and family’s news feeds, ads and accounts we follow. As an operator it is more important than ever to have a strategy in place to continuously create and curate dreaming content for potential travellers.

Action: Develop a strategy for social media to ensure that you are consistent in your content themes, posting schedule and post types. Consistency remains a number one success factor in marketing and by having a strategy you will yield improved return on investment on your time spent creating and curating customer and community posts. Both the Facebook and Instagram courses in the Tourism Tribe Digital Academy include a template to help you to develop a simple social media strategy and teach you techniques for creating and sharing compelling content.

Trend #6: Content creation has been democratised- the Metaverse will let you try before you buy.
Short-form video content has become the king of content, with Tik Tok now having over one billion users, and Reels leading the way on Facebook and Instagram with much higher engagement than traditional posts.
In 2023 communicating through video is a must for all businesses as it creates more immersive online customer experiences. More immersive online customer experiences pave the way for all of us to understand how the Metaverse is a place where increasingly, over the next 10 years, people will spend time every day tasting travel experiences, shopping, being entertained and more.

Action: Operators need to be creating short form video content in their marketing and sales journey. To learn more about short form video content creation, a good place to start is our blog on Instagram Reels.

Trend #7: Digital nomads are settling in and putting their feet up.
Becoming a digital nomad is a growing trend over recent years, as they have found a way to balance work and travel. By leveraging technology and remote work opportunities, digital nomads can work from anywhere and immerse themselves in local lifestyles and cultures. This allows them to enjoy the benefits of travel while still maintaining a fulfilling career. Many digital nomads are staying longer in destinations, which gives you more of an opportunity to engage with them.

Action: Consider how you can service this growing marketing. For example, if you are an accommodation operator can you offer a specific longterm package in certain seasons and run a targeted campaign online to attract their interest. Remember to focus on the lifestyle and cultural experiences they will be exposed to by staying with you in your messaging and what would be the main benefits of living in your community for a few months.

Trend #8: We’re at a technological inflexion point, and it is as easy as Chat GPT
ChatGPT is a game-changing tool for businesses, simplifying repetitive tasks and eliminating pain points for small businesses. Its innovative technology promises to revolutionise business operations, streamlining and optimising day-to-day activities. Like most people you are probably wondering how it can help you in your business and you should start to understand its potential and reap the immediate benefits.

Action: Gain practical knowledge through real-life application of ChatGPT in business by reading this article on how to Enhance Your Digital Marketing Efforts with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT.

We hope that the insights we’ve shared with you, combined with our tips to leverage these opportunities have been helpful and informative, and that they support you to take action. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed in the ever-changing landscape of the Tourism Industry.

Remember our team of tourism and digital experts are here to help you, and if you’d like to discuss how we can support you on your journey to growth and business sustainability simply message us via the online chat on and you can make a time for a quick call.

Pictured: Amanda, Phillipa Harrison and Liz at the Destination Australia Conference 2023

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