By Ruiyue Gong
Vivid Sydney is coming again. It began in 2009 as an idea to attract tourists to Sydney in winter. Now the Vivid festival is attracting much more international tourists, especially Chinese tourists. Last year, there are more than 19,500 international tourists came to join in Vivid Sydney travel packages, which is a 74 percent increase on 2013.
Vivid Sydney 2013
Copyright by AUCNTV, Edited by Ruiyue Gong
Australian tourism is booming
Australia earned $18 billion in tourism exports during 2013/14, and tourism is the largest services export. According to the ABS Tourism Satellite Account, “in 2013/14 the industry accounted for 2.7 per cent of Australia’s GDP and employed directly around half a million workers, contributing 4.6 per cent of Australia’s total employment.” Particularly, China has brought great opportunities, as it is the fastest growing country to the Australian tourism industry.
Source: ABS; RBA
This trend results from the open government policy and international economic recovery. However, we should carefully evaluate whether Australia is ready to face the challenges caused by booming international tourists. From my perspective, it should be kept a steady increase rather than rapid increase.
The advantage of tourism development
Susan, Zhao, is a Chinese student studying in Australia now. She has travelled almost Asian countries and part of European countries.
“Travel is the most direct way to know a country when we first arrived here, so I can communicate with the locals naturally. ” she said.
Susan was in Gold Coast.
Photo by Susan
For tourists, travel is a double enjoyment to ease the pressure both on physically and mentally.
“It is a way to run away from troubles, the unknown factor during the journey is the most exciting things for me because this compels me to survive in challenges. I love travel very much,” she continued.
During the journey, tourists can enhance their capability, as well as improve the relationship with friends and family members. Especially for international visitors, they are also able to experience a different cultural to enrich life understandings.
Vigorously development on tourism promotes economic development and social progress undoubtedly. Tourism is not just the existence of a single industry, but also it related to many other industries’ development, including transport, food service, hotel industry and other tertiary industry. Furthermore, local residents have increasingly job opportunities because of the booming tourism. However, we should keep calm to maintain a sustainable development when regarding this rapid growth on tourism.
The most inspiring travel quotes.
The challenges of boom development
The first concern is about the environmental capacity. All the development must follow the certain rules. Facing such booming increase, the capacity of nature may not be able to adapt to this change, and it would cause negative impacts on physical environment, which including beaches, rainforests, sand dunes and vegetation and bottom-trawling in the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, due to different travel forms and habits, it is inevitable that too much international tourists would damage the ecological environment maybe when they did not realize. Under normal conditions, environment has self-purification capacity, coupled with the protection of humans would maintain in a sustainable way. Conversely the damage can not be estimated if the number of tourists is beyond the scope of the control.
The second concern is about quality of travel service. Tourism is a service-oriented industry, and the quality of service is the most intuitive feelings for tourists. Aliff, is a Malaysian student studying in the University of Sydney now. He has been in Australia for 5 years and has travelled many destinations in Australia.
“Overall, Australia has a relatively high level of service quality. But since last year, many hot spots will obviously full and crowded, especially during the holidays. The staffs were not able to evacuate tourists, even some will lose patience. Occasionally flights tickets are in short supply leading to higher costs as the prices have soared,” he said.
Moreover, the competition of tourism business would cause the unethical problem. Some unscrupulous inbound tour operators have been “restricting itineraries to shops that provide secret commissions, charging for free tours of places such as the Sydney Opera House, poorly trained tour guides and misleading information regarding visitor safety in order to control the group.” This has resulted in lower levels of visitor satisfaction.
The third concern is about impacts on local residents. The booming tourism in Australia has brought benefits to the Australian economy, but these benefits are not shared evenly across all states and territories. In Sydney and Melbourne, local residents may suffer from the stress of living material, increasing price and social disorder to some extent.
Alice, Ruan, is an Australian aged 50 living in Hurstville now. “I always stressed to go shopping in Sydney city, as I must get in line for a long time when I go to the luxury stores due to too much tourists there. And in Hurstville, in recent years, the price of essentials is increase and the pharmacy sometimes is out of stock,” she said.
In addition, domestic inbound tourism is fewer than before. Although it caused by numerous factors, booming international tourists is also one of them. “I would prefer travel overseas to domestic travel, as there are more choices I have never been to, and it is more economical than travel within Australia”, Ruan said.
The last concern is about how to maintain a sustainable of development. Development of tourism is closely related to the international economic situation. If Australian government responds quickly to adapt to this rapid growth, they might be suffered from new concerns about excess capacity and unemployment when the demand is decreasing. Therefore, to improve the quality of service and promote the service efficiency are the most necessary actions. Recent years, Australian government has signed Free Trade Agreement with Korea, China and Japan, and give China more open policy for applying tourism visa.
Shirley An, is a Chinese tourist coming for the Vivid Sydney. “Of course as a tourist, I hope every country where I visit is welcome me. But in fact we fully respect each country’s visa policy. In fact, if I really want to go somewhere, the procedures do not hinder my journey instead it is a guarantee of our security. My only hope is that the efficiency of procedures of applying visa should be promoted,” she said.