Australia still popular with UK winter travellers

When it comes to planning a winter holiday, Australia is still one of the most popular destinations with travellers from the UK.

A recent report from Tourism Australia, the government agency that is responsible for the promotion and marketing of Australian destinations to international tourists, has confirmed that around 30,500 visitors from the United Kingdom arrived in the country in July 2012, which might reflect a decrease of 4.4 percent on the same period in the previous year, but around 50 percent of holidaymakers to Australia were repeat visitors, reflecting that British holiday makers still have a lot of affection for the country.

Visitors from the UK have generated GBP1.8 billion in total expenditure in 2011, and that figure is expected to grow to around GBP3.4 billion by 2020.

Rodney Harrex, regional general manager for the UK and Northern Europe for Tourism Australia, said, ‘These figures show that when Brits get to Australia they’re not disappointed, it’s a really positive sign that Sydney harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, all of the places you’ve heard about and hundreds that you haven’t, live up to and often surpass expectations. My message is; what are you waiting for? There’s a cliche that a visit to Australia is a once in a lifetime trip but these figures show that’s not true in reality, Australia is somewhere British holiday makers keep going back to.’

Australia will be hosting world class events in the near future, including the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour to Australia in June 2013, and an Ashes tour also in 2013, encouraging more British travellers to visit the country.

Tony Carty, the managing director of Travelbag, a UK-based travel company, said, ‘This is a really positive sign for Australia and our stores see many customers that have repeat booked holidays out there. For those who have been before, it’s about getting off the beaten track and discovering a new side to Australia – with such a large country to work your way around, there’s no limit to the options. As an Australia specialist, our job is to make planning a trip achievable and help tailor an itinerary to our customers’ needs. Events like Australia Day on 26 January, the British & Irish Lions Tour and Sydney New Year’s Eve are coming up in store enquiries so our job is to use those events to trigger bookings – clearly the flight is worth it!’