Lack of stability in global politics, economies, currencies and investments has seen a re-emergence of alternate asset classes for direct property investment, such as tourism. Since 2010 there have been significant shift in direct tourism property investment classes in Australia and purchaser profiles. Fund managers, corporations and individuals are seeking out direct property assets to invest in with tourism assets or property within touristic locations re-emerging from a period of stagnation following the global financial crisis. This paper examines direct tourism property investments over the last five years in Australia and develops a typology of these property assets.

The Australian tourism industry is benefitting from these combined effects. During 2015 approximately 7.2 million international arrivals (Tourism Australia, 2015) and 83.2 million domestic overnight trips (Tourism Research Australia, 2015) were undertaken in Australia. Representing increases of 7.7% and 6.2% in tourist numbers from 2014 and resulting in direct expenditure of $107.8 billion in 2015 (Tourism Research Australia, 2015). Furthermore, tourism contributes AUD$43 billion to GDP (gross domestic product) in Australia, including direct and indirect employment opportunities for 1 in 12 Australians (Tourism Research Australia, 2015). A declining Australian dollar and monetary policy will continue to encourage tourists to Australia over coming years. Current forecasts indicate that by 2025 international tourist arrivals will top 10.6 million with a 10 year average annual growth rate in expenditure of 3% (Tourism Research Australia, 2015).

Foreign flows of capital have acknowledged the shift to legitimizing direct tourism property as an asset class and the investment return potentials. Demonstrating this shift, IPD Research introduced the Australian hotel property index measuring hotel investment performance to benchmark investment against other indices/asset classes. The Australian government has also acknowledged the role of tourism investment monitoring, reporting and supporting such investments. This paper makes an important contribution to the literature by examining this under research field of direct tourism property investments. A typology of typology of direct tourism property investment categories is examined, utilising transactions and drivers for investment within each of these categories.