New tourism figures released today show international visitors to Australia during 2009 remained steady despite the tough conditions for tourism globally.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) highlighted Australia’s resilience in the difficult
“Despite the headwind of the Global Financial Crisis and the outbreak of the H1N1 virus Australian tourism managed to break even on international tourist numbers, defying the
global downturn last year,” Mr McEvoy said.
“These results show practical plans to lessen the impact of global events on travel to Australia last year have worked to a point.
“Against the odds we saw good growth from a number of our major tourism source markets like the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and China while other markets such as the UK, Germany and New Zealand remained steady.
“However, markets like Japan and Korea, posted significant declines mainly due to local economic conditions,” Mr McEvoy.
Mr McEvoy said while tourism to Australia had produced a better than expected result for 2009, Tourism Australia would continue to work with the industry to return international
visitor numbers to growth this year.
“As today’s figures highlight there are bright spots on the horizon and the finish to the year was much stronger than the start,” Mr McEvoy said.
“However, it is more than just the visitor numbers that we want to grow and we will remain focused on growing the economic contribution that international visitors deliver to the
Australian economy each year.
“Last year international visitors would have injected around $25 billion in to the Australian economy, which benefits everyone and provides valuable employment to around half a
Mr McEvoy said the focus for Tourism Australia in 2010 would be to vigorously market Australia as a destination in key markets around the world, and to maximise opportunities to return Australian tourism to growth this year. These efforts will be strengthened by the $20 million in recovery campaigns announced by Minister Ferguson recently.