19 September 2008

Aus domestic tourism dwindling, international tourism continues to rise

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A report from Tourism Research Australia has shown that while more money is being spent on domestic tourism, the numbers of Australians choosing to travel their own country has decreased, reports The Age.

The report, Travel by Australians, shows that over the past year the number of Australians choosing domestic travel has decreased by 2 per cent since the same period to 2007.   However, the tourism spend from domestic travellers increased over the past year: holiday-makers who spend on average 21 days away spent four per cent more in 2007 (a rise to $44.7 billion), while day-trippers increased their spend from $13.9 billion to $14.1 billion.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council told ABC News that the high cost of fuel and rising Australian dollar are the major factors affecting domestic Australian tourism.  Despite spending the most in Queensland than any other state, the number of local tourists dropped by 3 per cent in the last financial year.

However, a spokesman from the Council Daniel Gschwind said the future of Australian tourism is not looking bleak.

"We have better exchange rate for exporters and a better incentive to stay in Australia from an exchange rate point of view," Mr Gschwind said.  "Also the pressure on petrol price increases has come off somewhat, the pressure on interest rates has come off somewhat so we certainly hope that consumers have more confidence to travel."

International tourists to Australia need an Australia travel visa, except for New Zealand passport holders.  Visitors wishing to travel the country can apply for a short-stay tourist visa, or ETA, which is valid for three months.  The conditions of the visa mean that tourists cannot work at any time during their stay in Australia.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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