02 February 2009

Record numbers of Americans holidaying in Australia

Qantas, the national airline for Australia, has reported record numbers of ticket sales from the U.S despite fears that the global financial meltdown would hamper the tourism industry, reports the Herald Sun.

Over the past fortnight, sales have increased by 160 per cent, after the G’Day USA festival proved a promotional success in America.

Qantas have slashed ticket prices to ensure Americans would take the bait and visit Australia, and Qantas’ senior executive vice president of The Americas and Pacific Wally Mariani said the plan worked better than they had hoped.

“The past two weeks has set an all-time high” he told reporters.  “All world markets are soft and we weren’t hoping anywhere near this result, but it was above our wildest dreams.”

Last year, a similar marketing plan drew in record sales, but nothing compared to this year’s results.  Tourism Australia also reported an increase of 70 per cent in internet traffic to the Australia.com website.

The G’Day Festival had A-list celebrities leading the way for Australian tourism, with Nicole Kidman, Baz Luhrmann, Eric Bana, Rachel Griffiths and Rod Laver attending events throughout San Fransisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Americans need an Australian holiday visa to be able to visit the country for tourism purposes.  Being on the ETA eligible list, Americans can apply for the Australian ETA visa, which allows travellers to visit Australia for up to three months.  The ETA is an instantaneous visa that is electronically attached to one’s passport.

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

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