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Australia`s inbound tourism continues to recover

Australia`s tourism industry continues its slow recovery with new figures released last week showing a…

Australia`s tourism industry continues its slow recovery with new figures released last week showing a 1.1 per cent increase in international visitor arrivals during February 2002, Australian Tourist Commission (ATC<.>), Executive General Manager, Eastern Hemisphere Richard Beere said.

Speaking following the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Overseas Arrivals and Departure February 2002 preliminary figures, Mr Beere said Australia`s inbound tourism industry was recovering faster compared to many other destinations around the world.

After five months of decline, visitor arrivals have now returned to growth, he said. However, this recovery is patchy, with some markets still affected by the events of last year.

The recovery was led by a huge increase in arrivals from Asia as a result of the Chinese New Year holiday as well as a resilient UK tourism market and steady growth from the US.

Visitor arrivals from Asia increased by 21.2 per cent in February 2002 compared to February 2001 including growth from China (up 84.6 per cent), Singapore (up 24.7 per cent) and Malaysia (up 27.7%). This is due to the shift in time of the Chinese New Year period from January in 2001 to February in 2002.

The figures indicate that Asia is beginning to recover, with visitor arrivals up by 1.9 per cent for January and February 2002 compared to the same time frame last year. China is the strongest tourism market in Asia, while Singapore remains soft with visitor arrivals declining by nine per cent in the first two months of the year.

Europe remains stable, with visitor arrivals up by one per cent in February 2002, including growth from the UK (up 6.1 per cent) which was the biggest market for the month with 70,800 visitors.

The US market has recovered sooner than expected, with visitor arrivals increasing by 2.1 per cent in February 2002 compared to February 2001. Consumer response to the ATC`s ad campaign in the US has been strong, and we expect this growth in visitor arrivals to continue over the next few months.

However, Mr Beere said two of Australia`s key tourism markets, Japan and New Zealand remained soft due to a combination of factors.

Visitor arrivals from Japan declined by 7.3 per cent in February 2002 compared to February 2001, which is a slight improvement on the arrivals for January (down 13.7 per cent), he said. The industry and airlines have also indicated that the Japanese travel market is beginning to show signs of recovery with increases in forward holiday bookings to Australia over the coming months.

New Zealand visitor arrivals dropped by 25.8 per cent in February 2002 compared to February 2001. This is a result of a combination of factors including a shortfall in airline services across the Tasman.

The ATC has launched an extensive advertising campaign in New Zealand which aims to reverse this trend and to boost Kiwi visitor numbers to Australia.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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