As the Australian dollar has dipped over the past year, the number of tourists to our shores has risen, spending a record $32.5 billion over the last 12 months.
According to Tourism Australia there have been 6.5 millions visitors to Australia in the year leading up to March 2015 – an eight per cent jump on the previous year.
Tourism Australia CEO John O’Sullivan says that our calendar of events has been a huge factor in the increase, with the Cricket World Cup, Asian World Cup and, perhaps surprisingly, Chinese New Year being credited for our healthy trade in tourism.
Most of our visitors have come from New Zealand, but the number of tourists from India has also risen by 25 per cent. However, it’s the Chinese who have contributed most to our economy, with 829,000 making the journey to Australia and spending around $6.5 billion – accounting for 20 per cent of all holiday spending from our international visitors.
Many are here to visit family, but we’ve also seen a seven per cent increase in business travellers. According to John O’Sullivan, “We saw business travel in these latest set of figures – $3.5 billion – that was a seven per cent increase, even-though there was only a one per cent increase in the number of visitors who are spending more.”
The dip in the Aussie dollar is providing incentives for overseas travellers to journey to our country and this trend is expected to continue. Australian small businesses are being encouraged to capitalise on this by doing such things as employing Mandarin-speaking staff, providing free wifi and international payment options such as China UnionPay (the bankcard for the Chinese), and being more ‘savvy’ with pricing.
The increase of holidaymakers to our happy country is a blessing for business and has provided a much-needed injection of extra funds for our economy. According to Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith, “They are shopping, they are eating at our restaurants and they are visiting our attractions and cultural icons. They want an immersive experience in our Indigenous culture, they are really inquisitive as to where our heritage comes from.”
Read more at www.sbs.com.au