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Inbound operators in Australia say visas still an issue

posted Jun 22, 2011, 1:05 AM by Dong Travel   [ updated Jun 22, 2011, 1:18 AM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
While Asia continues to be a big source market for international visitors to Queenland, attracting visitors from countries whose citizens require visas remains a challenge, say some Australia-based inbound tour operators.

Sydney-based Australian Tours & Holidays director of sales, Gina Gaw, who handles the inbound market from the Philippines, said: “For Filipinos, the visa is difficult (to get). Sometimes it takes 10 working days to process tourist visas. That's the only hard part. It takes too long.”

Idy Wong, manager of Wel-Travel Australia in the Gold Coast, cited the same situation for India inbound to the state: “The situation at the moment is low, not because of the Australian dollar, but more of the visa problems.”

Wong added that other destinations like Thailand offered better-priced deals for incentives compared to Australia. “When they decide on the destination based on cost, which most Indians do, then Australia is just too expensive,” she said.

When asked how they were working to remain competitive despite the higher prices, Wong said: “Sadly, we have to really look into a way that we can cut costs.”

According to Tourism Queensland’s International Tourism Snapshot report, Queensland received a surge in arrivals from various Asian markets, especially China, during the year ended March 2011.

Asian visitors made up 734,000 of the total 2,002,000 arrivals to Queensland during the period, more than the number of visitors from Europe (517,000), New Zealand (400,000), and the Americas (199,000).

Source: TTGAsia