Asian market played critical role in 5 per cent increase in Australia tourism for 2012. The total arrivals for Australia reached 6.1 million mark in 2012 which is 270,500 more than the figures of 2011.
While the total tourist arrivals were increased by 5 per cent over last year, December saw 7 per cent increase in tourist arrivals to Australia. Even though New Zealand remained the top market for Australia with 1 in 5 visitors, the Asian market has started to play deciding factor for the tourism industry.
It was only a decade back when Australia gave a strong push for tourism from Asia. This has paid dividends with huge increase in tourist arrivals from India and China. While the strong Australian dollar has deterred European and American tourists, no such impact has felt from the Asian markets.
Even last year, arrivals from China increased by 16 per cent while Indian tourist arrivals also increased by 7 per cent. Malaysia and Singapore also performed well with 8 and 9 per cent increase respectively.
Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson gave the credit to $50 million funds for marketing in Asia. The tourism campaign known as "Nothing Like Australia" has started to show good results. Even tour operators are also concentrating on the Asian markets. They are spending a large chunk of their advertising budget in luring tourists from Asian countries.
While the United States and Europe have been hit hard by the economic slowdown, the strong growth in Asian markets has played a deciding factor for Australia tourism to focus more towards India and China.
Tourism experts expect the growth to come from India and China. They believe that while China is performing extremely well, India is under performing even though there is more than 7 per cent increase in arrivals.