26 June 2008

QLD tourism making life easier for overseas visitors

The Queensland tourism industry is asking businesses to bring tourism to the future by renovating the online market. Business leaders from the tourism industry attended a symposium in Brisbane, the ABC News reports, and are calling for tourism operators to start looking towards the online market for more business opportunities.

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse CEO Liz Ward says tourists are increasingly using online facilities to book and pay for holidays and activities.  "There’s been that huge shift from looking to booking, and websites have had to be so much more sophisticated in terms of providing relevant, good information to consumers," she said.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind added, "We have to use every lever we possibly can to get closer to the consumer, to get our message to the consumer, and to deliver to the consumer what they want and when they want it."

The Queensland tourism industry feels that more business opportunities will open if operators provide extra avenues for international visitors to book holidays in the state.  Queensland, along with the rest of the Australian states and territories, is looking for ways to boost tourism numbers while the rising fuel prices, lack of advertising campaigns, and airline flight reductions begins to take its toll on the tourism economy. 

British backpackers still remain a consistent and vital tourist market for Australia, despite rising fuel prices and flight cutbacks.  In the four months to April this year, 280,000 British nationals on an Australian working visa or a short-term travel visa visited Australia, according to statistics from Tourism Australia, which surpasses the number of visitors to Australia from the United States by 120,000.  By opening up the online market for British tourists and other international holidaymakers, the Queensland tourism industry feel they will be making a wise investment in the future of the industry.

Anyone interested in applying for an Australian working visa should confirm their eligibility by taking Visa Bureau’s online assessment.

An ETA visa is required for all short-term visitors travelling to Australia. Visa Bureau’s automated application process means that in most cases, they can be granted in seconds.

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