20 March 2009

Australia to rely on China and American tourism markets

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The Australian tourism industry have predicted that the number of Chinese and Americans applying for an Australian holiday visa is likely to increase during the economic downturn, while poor results from the Japanese are expected to continue, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Australian tourism industry has experienced an overall drop in the number of international visitors because of the global downturn, but while the American dollar is showing favourable results when exchanged with the Aussie, tourism operators will be banking on them choosing Australia as their holiday destination.

"Although the US is facing weakened financial conditions, the TFC has actually predicted a one per cent increase in arrivals from the US in 2009," Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) chief Daniel Gschwind said.

"There are mixed predictions from Asia, with Japan predicted to remain one of our most challenging markets, with arrivals down by 20 per cent in 2008 and expected to fall another 12 per cent in 2009, while arrivals from China are expected to grow by 4.5 per cent this year," he added.

Most travellers to Australia – apart from New Zealanders - will need to apply for an Australian holiday visa to enter the country for tourism purposes.  For those from eligible countries, the ETA visa is a simple, instantaneous holiday visa that allows people to holiday in Australia for up to three months.  For all others, an Australian travel visa is necessary for a holiday in Australia, which will allow the holder to travel in Australia for up to twelve months and study for up to three of those twelve months.

Tourism Australia is hoping that recent marketing attempts would draw the crowds from the key markets, such as in Hong Kong and Singapore where the Australia epic film has caused a resurgent interest in travel to Australia.


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