13 October 2014
Australia tourism sees biggest boom since Sydney Olympics
Recent stats have shown that Australia is back in favour with international tourists, with arrivals hitting levels not seen since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Compared to the previous 12 months, arrivals in 2014 have shown a huge increase of 8.2 per cent overall and in August alone, 538,800 people arrived Down Under for a short-term visit. All international arrivals require an Australian visa, with Australia's tourist visa system established as one of the most efficient in the world as most applications can be completed online within minutes.
Speaking on the increase, Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan had the following comments:
“We haven’t seen these sorts of international arrivals numbers since the days of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. What’s especially pleasing is that we’re seeing strong performances across the board, from our traditional Western markets as well as the newer, emerging Eastern markets that are now very much part of today’s Australian tourism story.”
CommSec senior analyst Craig James also spoke on the figures, with a particular focus on the huge increase in visitors from China:
“In just under four years, the annual number of Chinese tourists to Australia has doubled and if the current growth rates keep up, China will surpass New Zealand as our primary source of tourists in around five years time,” Mr James said.
“The other important development is that overall tourist arrivals are growing just shy of the fastest pace in 14-years no doubt boosted by the improvement in the global economy.”
“The cheaper currency should over time make it more attractive to travel within Australia rather than overseas — although it will take some time yet to make a significant dent in the tourism deficit,” he said.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their visa applications to travel to Australia.