Recently released preliminary international arrivals data from the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) shows that Australia’s love of the USA as a travel destination has not slowed despite the weakening of the Australian dollar, with almost 1.5 million (1,450,113) visitors in 2015 marking yet another record-breaking year for Australians travelling to the USA.
The data shows that Australia’s visitor numbers to the USA grew by an impressive 11.3% in 2015, placing them firmly in the Top 10 of international arrivals markets.
This result is well above official visitor forecasts, and Oliver Philpot, Director Brand USA Australia and New Zealand, identified Brand USA’s investment in the market as having successfully raised awareness and improved intention to travel to the USA.
“We are thrilled with this new data, confirming that our Brand USA marketing programs in Australia are delivering significant results,” Mr Philpot said.
“We’ve been highly active in supporting the airlines with various cooperative marketing campaigns, delivered a range of impactful programs with our trade partners, grown our education of the travel agent community through the USA Discovery Program, generated unprecedented levels of editorial coverage for the USA through our media activity, and executed some creative direct to consumer promotions, all of which combined have led to improvements in intention, preference and visitation for the USA.”
Philpot also identified the unprecedented affordability of airfares as a key factor driving growth.
“These results show that the decreased value of the Australian dollar has had a minimal impact on travel intention to the USA and actual travel numbers,” he said.
“The last 18 months have seen an onset of a range of new flight services from Australia and New Zealand, as well as intensified competition for airline market share. As a result, consumers are experiencing unprecedented access to cheap flights to the USA, which is driving a trend toward repeat visitation, greater dispersal of visitors beyond the traditional USA gateways, and also travel for more frequent, shorter breaks.
“If the market continues to develop as expected, we believe the current growth will continue unabated. A series of new campaigns will be introduced into market over the coming months across multiple marketing channels, encouraging consumers to travel beyond the traditional gateways.”
The USA is the number one preferred outbound destination for Australians, over New Zealand and the UK.