10 December 2008

Less international tourists to Australia despite more Kiwis popping in

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According to the Age, Australia's tourism industry is starting to feel the effects of the global credit crunch.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that tens of thousands less people are applying for an Australian holiday visa during October this year when compared with the same period last year. 

The total number of international visitors in Australia totalled 451,800 in October 2008, which is 16,000 people less than the same period last year.

The Japanese tourist market had the biggest drop at 27 per cent, while the US, Chinese and Korean markets were following close behind.

Despite this, 9,400 more New Zealanders jumped across the ditch to catch some sun in Australia.

Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) executive director Olivia Wirth said this is the result of an increased number of flights between Australia and New Zealand.

"It seems this improved availability has saved inbound tourism from an even more drastic collapse," Ms Wirth said.

"While we must maintain Australia's presence internationally, these figures show just how crucial it is for the prosperity of our tourism industry that Australians who can manage it actually have a domestic holiday," she said.

While December is traditionally the most expensive month to travel, figures released last week showed airfares are at record lows this month, including both discounted and full-economy airfares.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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