Australia lures Arab tourists


Tourism Australia (TA) this year was at the ATM with a new identity and a host of exciting new tourism products to introduce.

According to recently released figures, inbound arrivals from the Gulf countries to Australia were up 26 per cent in 2004 from the year before. Gulf visitors are rapidly discovering the delights Down Under and much of what the destination has to offer.
Said Lynne Hocking, TA’s manager, international market liaison, based in Sydney and responsible for the GCC region, “We expect figures to be even higher this year; we have many new attractions to introduce.” Presently, citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE are able to apply on line for a short stay visit visa.
In the past ten years alone, the number of inbound travellers from the Gulf have grown considerably. The surge continues as travellers seek adventure and comfort in a safe and friendly environment.
Formerly known as the Australian Tourist Commission, or ATC, Tourism Australia is making its presence felt in the GCC this year; the organisation is launching its “Meet Us in Australia” campaign in an effort to attract visitors to their information-packed website to quickly become more familiar with the destination. They have also introduced a Traveller’s Guide for the GCC consumer in both English and Arabic, available at most travel agents around the Gulf.
One motivating factor setting Australia for the Arab apart from many other destinations this year is the choice of routes and variety of airlines now servicing Australia from the Gulf States, including non-stop flights to several cities in Australia from Dubai.
Said Chris Anns, TA’s business development manager for the GCC, “Rail holidays, theme parks, wildlife, water sports, mountains, reefs, superb dining and of course, shopping galore – we have it all.”