Increased Flights and a Strong Dollar Could Mean More Visitors From Australia/New Zealand
Anchorage, AK — Following the recent increase in flights between Australia/New Zealand and North America and a favorable exchange rate, representatives with the Alaska Travel Industry Association returned from the Alaska Down Under Workshops with high hopes for the upcoming travel season.
Hosted by ATIA, the biennial workshops took place Oct. 18-22 in four major cities in Australia and New Zealand, Alaska’s second largest oversea market for travelers. Ten Alaska travel businesses from across the state ranging from tour operators, convention and visitor’s bureaus, cruise lines, hotels and others participated in pre-scheduled business-to-business meetings, trade presentations and a media event. Nineteen tour wholesalers, over 300 travel agents and more than 30 journalists from Australia and New Zealand attended the workshops.
“The Australian dollar is extremely valuable right now, currently on par with the U.S. dollar, so Australians are ready to travel,” said Jillian Simpson, ATIA’s director of travel trade and international marketing. “Between that and the recent increase in direct flights to the US. offered by several airlines, this is the perfect time to reach out to this market.”
In recent years, the travel industry has seen a significant increase in the availability of transpacific flights between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland to major stopover cities for Alaska-bound travelers, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu and Vancouver, British Columbia
“Alaska continues to gain interest from the Australia and New Zealand markets as an overseas destination,” said Simpson. “The workshops were a tremendous success, now we continue to follow-up and hope that translates into increased visitors in the coming season.”
ATIA is a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of all facets of Alaska’s visitor industry and represents over 1,100 large and small travel-related businesses. The association serves as the voice of Alaska’s tourism industry and is responsible for marketing Alaska as a travel destination and maintaining the TravelAlaska.com website for visitors interested in visiting the state. For more information on the association visit www.alaskatia.org.