The latest figures from the UK Office of National Statistics show Australians spent a huge A$1.89 billion in the UK from January – September 2014 and stayed for more than 12.48 million nights during the same period, smashing visitor records for the first nine months of the year.
The statistics also demonstrate that visitors from Australia are true regional explorers. In the first nine months of 2014 Australian visits to Wales increased by 9%. During this same period, Australians delivered 14.5% growth on visits and record spending of A$209 million in Scotland, which hosted the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in August and September last year.
World-class events remain a draw card for Australian travellers to Britain. Cardiff and England will host the Ashes Cricket Test and Rugby World Cup later this year. An additional 20,000 Australians are estimated to travel through England during the rugby and experience Britain’s GREAT countryside, with matches being played in 11 regional venues. Scotland is also revelling in its Year of Food and Drink with a full calendar of culinary events, while literary anniversaries such as 150 years since Alice in Wonderland was published, and Agatha Christie’s 125th ‘birthday’ will be celebrated around the country.
Growing outbound travel trends, coupled with increased flight connectivity into regional Britain, mean Australians can access and experience Britain’s rich heritage, culture, sport and countryside more easily than ever before.
During GREAT Britain Tourism Week, VisitBritain marketing director Joss Croft and APME regional manager Sumathi Ramanathan will host industry events showcasing marketing and partnership plans for 2015/16 and beyond, as well as holding round table discussions on targeting the high yielding ‘Silver Styler’ and ‘Young Professional’ segments and strengthening product development for Britain.
VisitBritain currently invests significant funds in Australia via partnerships, such as those with Etihad and STA Travel, while supporting the vital retail network through mega-agent famils,a dedicated trade website and the BritAgent program. These programs and investment ensure Australia will continue to deliver on the ambitious 2020 targets for inbound tourism to Britain.
VisitBritain marketing director Joss Croft: “GREAT Britain Tourism Week provides VisitBritain with the platform to showcase our marketing partnership programs in Australia and to create new conversations with the travel industry. Key events such as the Rugby World Cup, Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink and even the broad range of British films like Paddington allow us to continually spark the traveller’s imagination and create reasons for Aussies to travel to the UK now. Tourism is an essential part of our wider success as a modern global economy, generating jobs and growth across Britain – and visitors from Australia are highly valuable to that growth. “
VisitBritain APME regional manager Sumathi Ramanathan: “Australia is a billion pound market for Britain. In 2013 there were more than 1 million Australian visits to Britain, spending A$2.25 billion in the UK and Australian visitors in 2014 look set to break these records. Strong outbound travel trends, coupled with fantastic flight connectivity and great early-bird airfares have the market on track for a GREAT year for travel to Britain in 2015.”
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com