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Michael DykesThe current reality of our international travel volume is that we haven’t yet caught the soaring peaks of 2019.

The latest International Visitor Report still had the number of inbound trips down 39 per cent and total Australian international tourism spending down 41 per cent (compared to pre-covid figures).[1]

However, if the pandemic taught us one thing, this is a resilient industry. You only have to look at the reports of our domestic market to see how many destinations have and continue to adapt revenue strategies to meet market demands.[2] And it is through the continued reimagination of the sector’s resilience that travel providers can convert international opportunities as they come back.

Across the world, the return to pre-pandemic levels has varied from market to market. Locally, our own Expedia Group data shows optimism for growing inbound interest to be captured. In the past year, travel intent to Australia has grown over 30 per cent, and the length of booking windows has surpassed 2019 benchmarks by five per cent.[3]

To help capture this, we’ve also been regularly talking with hundreds of revenue leaders across the globe to adopt best practices and drive more excellent value for partners than ever before. It’s here that I have also seen our Australian Expedia Group team working hard to go above and beyond – taking the world’s learnings and applying them locally. We are putting to work our millions of data points to help hotels and other partners understand what travellers are searching for, in what way, when and at what price. That knowledge is power. So, with that in mind, here are my top three tips for harnessing our tech tools for the betterment of your bottom line:

  1. Be agile to market price changes. Now more than ever, it is the time to play the market in real time. Watch your competitors, be abreast of spiking interest in specific dates and adapt pricing, packages, and other offerings to suit. By analysing competitive price intelligence and market performance data together, you can better understand when customers are booking and what price they are responding to. Average Daily Rates are seemingly on the rise as well. In fact, for Australia’s top 10 destinations, this has grown by more than 25 per cent year-on-year compared to pre-pandemic rates, so make sure you’re ready to capture the best price per booking. 
  1. Get to know your new ‘high value’ traveller. After so long seeking “any” booking, it’s nice to be edging towards a position where we can embrace a higher value option. International demand has always presented a more lucrative traveller for most – offering extended stays, paying a higher daily rate and spending more on property. At a quick glance, our Expedia Group data shows that the United States is the top inbound market travelling to Australia, accounting for 30 per cent of total bookings. The United Kingdom comes second, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and Singapore. These top five markets take almost two-thirds (65%) of total demand. Be sure to understand your international audience and get to know their travel preferences: how they search and book, what they look for in an experience and how best to target them.
  1. Play to your strengths. Staying on top of and analysing the range of data required for a practical revenue performance approach takes sophisticated technology. If that’s not your forte, forget it. Instead, lean into the strengths of your distribution network, which specialise in technology and innovation. For example, hotels can outsource revenue management. Another example is Expedia Group’s Rev+ solution, which is accessible to all its partners as it tries to democratise access to revenue performance technology, optimised distribution and also provides white label templates to make the booking platform more readily accessible to the travel ecosystem – whether you’re big or small.

While the current international demand numbers are softer than we would all like to see one year on from reopening our borders, there are green shoots that can and should be nurtured.  Fortune will favour those that embrace information to stay ahead of the curve. If the industry can continue to demonstrate its reimagined resilience with every new turn, we will be stronger than ever.


[2] https://www.tra.gov.au/domestic/monthly-snapshot/monthly-snapshot

[3] Expedia Group travel intent (searches) in Australia in March 2023, compared to the same period in 2021 and 2019.




Written by: Michael Dykes, Vice President, Market Management, Asia-Pacific, Expedia Group