10 February 2010

Australian tourism continues to attract international visitors

Australian tourism saw steady numbers of international visits during 2009 despite the tough global conditions for tourism, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

Australian immigration

Australian tourism figures have remained constant in 2009, despite the difficult global conditions.

The Australian immigration report on international visitors showed that 5.6 million visitors arrived in Australia during 2009, unchanged relative to 2008.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) highlighted Australia’s resilience in the difficult economic climate.

“Despite the headwind of the Global Financial Crisis and the outbreak of the H1N1 virus Australian tourism managed to break even on international tourist numbers, defying the global downturn last year,” Mr McEvoy said.

The largest numbers of visitors came from New Zealand, some 1,110,400 people, followed by the United Kingdom with 663,800 travellers to Australia in 2009.

All visitors to Australia, unless they have a New Zealand or Australian passport, must have an Australian visa. The most popular visa for tourism purposes to Australia is the ETA Visa, as it is easy to apply for online and is approved almost instantly. Once approved, the ETA Visa is electronically attached to your passport, removing any need for further paperwork.

Mr McEvoy said while  Australian tourism had a better than expected result for 2009, Tourism Australia would continue to work to grow international visitor numbers.

“As today’s figures highlight there are bright spots on the horizon and the finish to the year was much stronger than the start,” Mr McEvoy said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.  

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