Australian tourism boomerangs back

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The Independent Travel

Tourism in Australia has rebounded better than in most of the rest of the world, a leading accountancy firm said last week.

Hotels down under were nearly three quarters (73 percent) full for the first five months of 2010 according to Deloitte, suggesting that post-crisis, Australia is the place to be.

“Australian hotels weathered the global financial crisis well and their rebound was among the most impressive in the world," said Deloitte's Ian Breedon.

"Sydney, in particular, had an excellent 12 months and led most other major tourist destinations in occupancy levels."

Sydney, the main arrival point for visitors to Australia, recorded a 9.8 percent occupancy increase between 2009 and 2010 to fill 83.4 percent of its hotel rooms - that's compared to 76.6 percent in Brisbane and 75.4 percent in Melbourne.

In Asia Pacific, only Singapore and New Zealand have filled more of their respective hotel rooms and of the other major tourist country destinations, only Egypt recorded occupancy above 70 percent, while UK achieved 66.9 percent, the US 54.7 percent, France 64.5 percent, Spain 57 percent, and Italy 54.9 percent.

Tourism in Australia is likely to be boosted further by Chinese travel, according to a survey released last month by the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

The Travel Intention Survey found that more than half of the travelers surveyed from mainland China were intending to travel to Australia over the next two years, making it the number one destination for tourists from the mainland.

China is already one of the top five sources of Australia's international visitors.

Who goes down under?
Australia’s top five markets by value and volume in 2009

1. United Kingdom
2. China
3. New Zealand
4. United States
5. Japan

Figures from Tourism Australia