Confirmation that the strong Australian dollar has been bad news for tourism operators came yesterday with official figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
International arrivals increased just 2%, below the Federal Government’s forecast of 3.7% according to the figures released yesterday.
But the happy news was the big increase in Chinese and Indian tourists. The number of Chinese visitors increased 15.9%, Indians were up 13.6% and the Irish up 12.2%.
British visitors fell 6.2%, Japanese visitors fell 12% and the Koreana were down by 3%.
The strong dollar presents local operators with a double whammy as Australians chose to travel overseas. The number of Australians travelling overseas surged 10.6% in 2007, following 4% and 8.9% growth in two preceding years.