Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy hosted an Australia Day celebration at London’s Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue last night, 23 January. He told a specially invited audience of UK media representatives that Australia was outperforming the market despite the ongoing difficulties of the global economic backdrop.
“The UK is still our No.2 market for inbound tourism with 640,000 visitors annually,” McEvoy noted, and encouraged journalists to come up with ideas to write about tourism opportunities Down Under. “Our team will look to support any such initiatives,” he added, pointing out that Australia had outperformed many other destinations, suffering just a four per cent fall in inbound tourism numbers while other major destinations had recorded double digit drops in numbers.
McEvoy listed some big sporting events likely to drive tourism interest in 2012, including an Ashes series and major rugby internationals.
A Tourism Australia spokesperson told CN that the big investment in infrastructure projects in Sydney, in particular, made for an exciting story for business tourism, with new hotel and venue capacity coming on stream over the next couple of years.
Representatives of Australia’s leading meetings destinations, including Queensland, Victoria and Melbourne and Sydney were also on hand to network with the UK specialist press corps.
Australia Day is officially 26 January with over 5,000 events taking place in the country. McEvoy, who is on a European tour, and his team decided on an early celebration in the UK.
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