Visa has unveiled findings from its Visa U.S. International Travel Outlook which revealed that the U.S. dollar’s decline has not dampened enthusiasm for travel and that Australia is among the top destinations for U.S. travelers.
“Even though Americans aren’t going as far this year, they continue to exhibit a strong willingness to travel overseas,” said Chris Clark, General Manager of Visa Australia and New Zealand.
“Visa data shows Australia attracted a healthy share of the U.S. tourism market in the first quarter of 2008 despite the weaker U.S. dollar and worries about rising prices.”
According to the 2008 U.S. International Travel Outlook, Canada (46 percent) and Mexico (45 percent) top the list as the most popular foreign destinations for American travelers this year. However, one in six respondents stated that they are likely to visit Australia in the next 12 months, indicating the appeal of experiencing Australian charm and culture, world-class beaches and thriving city nightlife.
In 2007, U.S. travelers spent US$436 million on their Visa-branded cards while visiting Australia, putting them eighth among the top 10 international destinations based on Visa cardholder spending. During the first quarter of 2008, Australia retained that ranking, with US$119 million in Visa cardholder purchases.
As American tourists travel to Australia, the local hotel and tourism sector will benefit most from their visits. According to the survey, Americans traveling overseas plan to spend the most money on accommodations (60 percent), followed by food (12 percent) and entertainment (12 percent).