7 ways to profit from the tourism boom on the ASX

This morning the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its tourism data for the month of October.

Once again the data demonstrated that the inbound and outbound tourism boom that Australia is experiencing continues unabated.

During the month Australia welcomed a total of 782,600 short term visitors to its shores, which was a month on month increase of 0.3% and a 4.1% lift on the prior corresponding period.

The main drivers of this increase were visitors from New Zealand, China, and Japan. A solid rise in visitors from these nations offset declines in tourism from the United States and the United Kingdom.

There was similarly solid growth in short term resident returns (outbound travel). During the month of October a total of 933,600 residents returned to Australia from short term trips.

This was a 0.2% increase on September’s numbers and a 5.6% lift on the prior corresponding period. A 12.1% lift in returns from Indonesia and a 5.2% increase in returns from the United Kingdom helped drive this growth.

How can you profit from the tourism boom?

There are a number of ways that investors could profit from the tourism boom.

Increasing tourism numbers are likely to be a positive for booking agents such as Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO), and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB).

Other options include resort and casino operators Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) and Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) which could benefit from increased demand for their rooms and more foot traffic through their casinos.

And finally, airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) and airline Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) are two other shares that I believe are well-positioned to profit from the tourism boom.

Which shares should you buy?

My pick of these shares would be Webjet for valuation reasons and also its exposure to the rise in online booking. Not far behind is Qantas Airways which I expect to deliver a strong result in FY 2019 thanks to increasing airfares and falling fuel prices.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Crown Resorts Limited, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, and Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Helloworld Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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