Published on : Monday, January 13, 2014
The famous Ashes Cricket series helped the tourism figures from U.K. to Australia witnessing a six year high, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. English cricket fans came to Australia in huge numbers registering a 10.8 percent spike in arrivals till November 2013.
While the Brits had to endure a 5-0 thrashing in which players quit mid-tour and team morale hit rock bottom, the loyalty of English cricket fans helped push annual arrivals growth from Britain to 4.5 per cent – its highest level since March 2007.
“The Ashes cricket series had not only proved to be a wonderful sporting spectacle but has also been fantastic for Australian tourism,” Tourism Australia general manager for corporate affairs Karen Halbert said.
“Blue ribbon sporting events like the Ashes provide a real tourism sweet-spot for us. The Barmy Army is a group of visitors who typically stay longer, travel further and spend well.” The Barmy Army contributed to an overall strong arrivals result in November.
The number of international arrivals grew 5.2 per cent for the year ending November, and 4.5 per cent compared to November 2012.
This was led by strong growth in key markets such as Malaysia – which was up 25.5 per cent in November – Singapore and India, which was up 19 per cent.
“This reinforces the importance of ensuring Australia remains ahead of the curve in providing access to airlines serving key international markets,” Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Ken Morrison said.
“The easing of the Australian dollar should also help boost spending by international visitors, as they find their money goes further.”
Despite the strong result from Britain and emerging Asian markets, the number of Chinese visitors fell 9.4 per cent as inbound operators adjusted to new tourism rules.
In October, Chinese authorities introduced new regulations for tourism operators to address practices such as coercive shopping measures, low price and low quality tours. The reforms are meant to improve the experience of Chinese tour visitors, including access to a wider range of retailers, attractions and locations, as well as protecting the privacy and consumer rights of Chinese travellers.