Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released this morning show Australia is a destination for visitors from the United States, Japan and South Korea, with all these markets showing remarkable growth over the past 12 months.“Today’s figures show our traditional markets from the US and Japan are growing rapidly – both high value and high yielding markets, which is good news for our growing tourism export sector,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.
“The Australian tourism industry has done a remarkable job in building a successful, highly desirable destination and we are now seeing our once traditional markets return, along with new and emerging markets growing stronger year on year.
“We have been highly focused on marketing Australia’s diversity and uniqueness and this is what has helped put our destination on the bucket list of so many people from Seoul to Dallas and beyond.
“Australia has a strong future as a major international travel destination and with the tourism industry already contributing over $38 billion to the national economy, we will continue to be an important part of Australia’s economic future.”
Today’s ABS figures show short-term visitor arrivals for August 2016 were 11.7% higher than in August 2015 and the strongest growth markets for the period included South Korea (29.6%), the US (23.6%), and Japan (19.6%).
“Our industry has a long history of making a huge contribution to Australia’s economic success and ATEC has been a strong advocate for removing barriers to tourism’s success, including streamlining visa systems and improving access to regional destiantions, but we remain concerned by the recently announced $5 increase to the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC).
“We believe this tax, which will hit international visitors and travelling Australians with a $60 exit tax from July next year, is sending an unwelcome message to international travellers.
“The PMC goes against the positive work done by both the industry and Government, over the last 50 years, to establish quality tourism experiences, create awareness of the destination, and convert a desire to travel into a reality.
“Unfortunately the increase in the PMC will have a detrimental affect on our overall marketability as an international destination and we urge the Government to reconsider this tax.”