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Japanese Tourists

It’s not so long ago that the words ‘tourist’ and ‘Japanese’ were synonymous to Australians. In the 1980’s they pumped investment dollars into the Gold Coast and flocked to Australia for honeymoons, golf holidays and work-mates group tours. The local Aussie having a picnic in the Blue Mountains would be oft heard to say ‘Not another bloody busload of Japanese tourists!’. Thank goodness we are less xenophobic these days - it's just back-packers and Barmy Army that we notice. With a deep recession in Japan in the late 1990’s the Japanese tourist has become more price conscious and has found our post-Olympics hotel rates a bit on the steep side. Whilst Japanese outbound tourism has grown, Australia’s share has fallen and cheaper closer venues like Guam are more popular.

The latest figures on short-term visitor arrivals were released this week by the ABS. For the 12 months to May 2005 they show Japanese numbers fell by 8.1% (but still second highest; Kiwis are top visitors). Malaysians also fell by 3.3%. The big increases were for Korea (up 25.9%), Hong Kong (up by 17.0%) and Singapore (up by 14.7%).

Posted Thursday, 7 July 2005


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