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Visit USA gets closer to trade as US hits number one

September 7, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Closer liaison with travel agents is high on the must-do list for Visit USA this year, with Australian president Kylee Kay heading a push to get closer to the trade.

More Australian travellers to the USA book their air tickets through agents than by any other means, and the US ranks as the number one long-haul travel destination for Australians.

Kay said yesterday at Visit USA’s mid-year review in Sydney that Visit USA had established a trade liaison subcommittee to get closer to the trade.

Kylee Kay, President of the Visit USA Organisation Australia


US Consul General Valerie Fowler addressed the mid-year review, with some comparisons of Australian cities and similar ones in the US, and the Consulate General’s commercial specialist, Monique Roos, released latest statistics.

“Australians typically book long-haul travel through travel agents,” Roos noted in her overview.

“To successfully reach the Australian market, it is important to promote to the consumer via print and online media to stimulate interest in and awareness of the destination or product, promote to the tour operators and travel agents, and ensure the destination/product is included in local brochures and websites.”

Guests learned that Brand USA’s new “ambassador” is Aloe Blacc, a singer/songwriter said to have an irresistible power to capture the complexities of human emotion. His “Wake Me Up” – the 2013 mega-hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii – climbed to #1 in 102 countries across the globe.

Latest statistics, for 2016, show that the average length of stay for Australians visiting the US is 22 days, higher than the average for all visitors, which is 18 days. Some 43% of Australians make their airline bookings through a travel agency office, 32% make them directly with the airline, 21% use an internet booking service, 7% use a corporate travel department and 4% use a tour operator or travel club.

Other quick facts:

  • Australia ranks 10th in visitor arrivals to the US. It has held that position for quite a while.
  • It ranks eighth in international visitor spending.
  • The US was in 2016 the third most popular international destination for Australians, after New Zealand and Indonesia (in that order).
  • The US was the most popular long-haul destination.
  • 73% of Australian visitors to the US are repeat visitors. In 2016, the percentage of repeat visitors increased 2% compared to the previous year.
  • 27% of Australians were first-time visitors to the US.
  • 88% of Australians visited the US for pleasure and 11% for business.
  • In 2016, San Francisco regained its position at the third main port of entry, behind Dallas Fort Worth and New York.


Written by Peter Needham

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