Case study:

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC)


We are ATEC

We are the national non-profit industry body representing the thousands of companies around Australia that provide tourism services to foreign visitors. We were formed in 1972. Our membership represents the depth and breadth of our industry and includes both large companies and small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs), many of whom are based in regional and remote parts of Australia. In addition to our national office, we have nine branches across the country.

We provide a range of services to our members

We have a solid connection to the ‘grass-roots’ of our industry so that we can understand their business and work alongside them to alleviate pressures and provide them with support. We connect buyers and sellers of tourism services and experiences, and work with our members to develop their skills and knowledge to best position them for export success. The success of the industry relies on having businesses that are capable exporters.

We understand SMEs face unique challenges when exporting

Smaller tourism businesses need to understand how to infiltrate, establish and sustain their presence in both established and emerging export markets. Product innovation and distribution are essential if they are to be visible overseas and convince people to buy their product. SME exporters face the added challenges of economic headwinds, trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainties, which can dampen consumer demand. And then there are national and global events, like those we have experienced over the summer of 2019– 20 that have had a significant impact on the industry, but are totally out of its control to influence.

We value the EMDG scheme

ATEC has EMDG Approved Body status and we use the scheme to represent the interests of our members in overseas trade marketing activities. Each year we represent our members at the Australian Tourism Exchange – an international tradeshow that attracts over 600 international buyers and 800 Australian travel sellers. We also attend a range of trade shows and participate in trade missions to promote Australia’s tourism industry. In the last two years we have participated in and represented our members’ export interests at a number of trade events, including Tourism Australia’s ‘Australia Marketplace China’ (previously known as the Greater China Travel Mission), the South Africa Tourism Services Association conference and Tourism Export Council New Zealand’s trade workshops. This includes sharing our insights and initiatives on international readiness and capability building.

The three things we would tell first-time exporters are:

  • Understand tourism distribution.
  • Know your target market: you don’t need to be active in every export market.
  • Build strong, commercially focused trade partnerships.