Monday, July 28, 2008
SAY NO TO AUSTRALIA
Japanese tourists say no to Australia
SYDNEY — Australia, with its beautiful Great Barrier Reef and cute koalas, was once seen as the destination of choice for Japanese holiday makers. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Tuesday, however, have provided more evidence that the Japanese tourist industry in Australia is on a sharp decline.
The number of Japanese tourists visiting Australia fell by 8.6% last year, despite the government investing millions of dollars in advertising to lure them Down Under. Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said she was concerned about the fall in Japanese tourists. “The appreciation of the Australian dollar to the yen, coupled with the slashing of aviation seats out of Japan by 9% is making the dream of an Australian holiday less of a reality for too many Japanese,” Bailey said.
The government introduced a A$13 million Japanese action plan in a bid to rescue the A$2 billion market in 2005, which included marketing Australia as a “fresh” destination that offered more experiences than just the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House.
Has the strength of the Australian dollar killed Japanese tourism in Australia? Is the Japanese love affair with koalas and kangaroos at an end?