Travel agencies handle the majority of travel bookings by Australians to the United States.
The encouraging news was released at Visit USA’s recent market update, when the US Commercial Service provided Australian members with the latest statistics.
The margin of majority is not great, with agents handling 51% of bookings, Visit USA said. Travel agents are also the major source of information on the US, at 48%.
From left: Elaine Kellogg, Gray Line Tours; Juliette Myers, Visit USA Vice President.
“Booking accommodation in advance is common practice, with nearly 85% of Australian visitors to the US ensuring they have a place to stay before leaving home,” Visit USA president Janette Davie, disclosed.
In 2014, Australians travelled to the US in record numbers. Australia ranks 10th for inbound visitor numbers with 1.28 million making the journey to the US, an increase of 6%. Australia is also the 10th-largest market for visitor spending.
From left: Lawrence Sattrukalsinghe, Hawaiian Airlines; Heidi Bullough, Scenic; Sandra Fleming, Scenic; Janette Davie, Visit USA President.
The average length of stay for Australians is 21 days, with 85% travelling for leisure. Over 67% are repeat visitors.
The major entry points for Australians travelling to the USA are not surprising: Los Angeles at 52% and Honolulu at 20%, followed by New York and San Francisco with just over 5% and Dallas-Fort Worth with just under 5%.
Australian travel will increase a further 2% during 2015 to reach 1.3 million visitors, according to latest forecasts.
Over the past 10 years, Australian travel to the US has more than doubled, breaking records. Few international markets have achieved this level of growth. Between 2013 and 2019, it is estaimated Australian travel to the United States will grow by 25%.
From left: Sarah Stevenson, NYC & Co; Kristen Hellmrich, NYC & Co; Karen Ballard, US Commercial Service; Susie Westwood, NY State Div of Tourism.
The photos show Visit USA members enjoying the Gray Line networking party after the presentation. Elaine Kellogg travelled all the way from New York to host the event.
Edited by Peter Needham