By Ian Neubauer
The latest International Visitor Survey shows NSW still maintains the lion’s share of international visitors to Australia, said NSW Tourism Minister, Jodi McKay.
“More than 55 per cent of international holidaymakers [in Australia] visit NSW, many of whom start and end their trips in our beautiful state,” McKay said, adding that international visitors spent $6 billion in NSW out of a total $16 billion spent in the country this year.
The surge in spending was countered by a 1.3 per cent decrease in visitor numbers and a 3.2 decrease in visitor nights, with McKay saying the figures reflected the tough economic conditions currently affecting international tourism.
“There will be more challenges ahead because of the impact of surging oil prices on the cost of travel, but we now have a new way forward with tourism in NSW following the O’Neil review,” she said, adding that the ministry would increase interaction with emerging markets India and China, attract more conferences and events, and deliver greater aviation capacity.
“The new Brand Sydney initiative underway will be used by the Government and industry to attract events, investment and international students, as well as more business visitors and holiday makers to Sydney,” she said.
Nine extra international flights would fly into Sydney next year, including four new services per week by Singapore Airlines from London, one addition service by Qantas from Honolulu and LA, and four extra services per week by Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong.