16 September 2008

Alice Springs in tourism spotlight next year

The Australian Regional Tourism Convention organisers have announced Alice Springs will be hosting the annual event next year. Tourism Northern Territory and Tourism Central Australia (TCA) put in their bids so that the region can be put back in the tourism spotlight, reports the Centralian Advocate.

The Convention will bring around 200 delegates to discuss the future of regional Australian tourism.  Organisers believe it will have positive effects for Central Australia, particularly during times where local industry workers feel tourism in the region is feeling the effects of rising fuel prices and the strong Australian dollar.

TCA General Manager Peter Grigg said he was happy with the response he got from tourist operators when he showed a short film about the region to entice them to the convention next year.  He also said next year’s convention will be well-timed to discuss issues of the environment and sustainability, and that being in the remote Central Australia will make explicit the need for operators to be taking these issues on board.

"A big focus of the conference I just came back from was about green tourism and operators reducing their carbon footprint, not only as a positive for the environment, but trying to corner that market as well," he said. 

Tourism Australia, the Federal, State and Local Governments and tourism organisations and boards have stepped up a gear to encourage more international travellers to visit Australia in response to dwindling tourist numbers. 

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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