Strong Aussie dollar influences outbound tourism

The soaring Aussie dollar compared to other currencies is boosting Australian’s desire to travel abroad, according to a survey carried out by Mastercard.  

The research was conducted from March to April 2011 and involved 647 Australians. The findings reveal that one in four respondents stated that they would not have made plans to travel overseas this year if the exchange rate was not favourable.

MasterCard Australia country manager Andrew Cartwright said: “The tourism industry in Australia has had a difficult start to 2011 – with the natural disasters in the first three months of the year and the knock-on implications on holiday numbers in the hardest hit areas.

“These occurrences, alongside the strength of the dollar, have meant that many Australian travellers are looking overseas for their holiday destinations – a trend which is impacting heavily on the domestic tourism sector as highlighted in the findings of the survey, issued last month.”

The strong Australian dollar could also be impacting Australians’ travel plans over the next 12 months – with almost a third (32 per cent) intent on travelling more frequently for leisure purposes in 2012.

The favourable exchange rate between the Australian and American dollars has made the USA the most popular destination for Australian tourists, with close to one in four (22 per cent) intent on holidaying in the States during the year.

With the Australian dollar continuing to increase in value against the Euro and British Pound in particular, holidaymakers put several European countries on their intended travel list.

The United Kingdom tops the European destination table with close to one in five (18 per cent) Australians planning to travel to the UK this year, closely followed by France (12 per cent), with Germany and Italy both on 10 per cent.

New Zealand remains a prime location for holidaymakers due to its close proximity to Australia – nearly one in five (19 per cent) intend to travel to the country at some point during the year.

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