THE Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) says the 120,000 employees involved in the local tourism industry are in for good news with visitor numbers from the US and China expected to grow this year.
QTIC CEO Daniel Gschwind says the tourism forecasting committee (TFC) predicts Australia’s visitor numbers to fall by 4.2 per cent this year, but arrivals from China and the US are expected to grow by 4.5 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.
“Although the US is facing weakened financial conditions, the TFC has actually predicted a 1 per cent increase in arrivals from the US in 2009, boosted by the strengthening US dollar against the Australian dollar, increased airline capacity on Qantas flights and new services from V Australia and Delta Airlines,” says Gschwind.
He says there have been reports of Australian tourism growth by travel agents in Singapore and Hong Kong, but arrivals from Asia were down by 20 per cent in 2008.
Gschwind also points to future flow on benefits from the a booming education sector for tourism, as international students invite their families and continue to visit Australia throughout their lives.
“International students often fund their time in Australia by working in the tourism hospitality sector, they holiday in Australia, they invite their families to visit and they may continue to visit throughout their lives,” he says.
He also hopes the weak Australian dollar and the Rudd Government stimulus package will encourage domestic travel.
“By taking some time out and enjoying a break in one of the beautiful destinations right on their doorstep, Australians have the chance to relax and rejuvenate while helping to boost the local economy,” says Gschwind.
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