Open arms for in­va­sion of US tourists

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JACK MORPHET

THE stereo­type of Amer­i­can tourists is they wear loud shirts, huge hats, are noisy and hairy — and their hus­bands are even worse.

But, ac­cord­ing to Tourism Aus­tralia, we are now more likely to get a true pic­ture of real Amer­i­cans, rather than the stereo­type, as the num­ber of US tourists is grow­ing, boosted by a strong US econ- omy, cheap air­fares and the pop­u­lar­ity of Aus­tralian celebri­ties.

Data from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­veals 722,100 Amer­i­cans vis­ited Aus­tralia in the 12 months to Fe­bru­ary, an in­crease of 95,000 peo­ple or 15.1 per cent.

De­spite be­ing out­ranked in num­bers by tourists from New Zealand, China and the United King­dom, Amer­i­cans spent around $3.7 bil­lion, putting them ahead of tourists from the UK and just be­hind those from China.

Tourism Aus­tralia’s John O’Sul­li­van said we hadn’t seen such an in­flux of Amer­i­can tourists since the 2000 Olympics. “The US now boasts more high-net worth in­di­vid­u­als than any other mar­ket and th­ese trav­ellers are look­ing for a unique, dis­tinc­tive and high qual­ity hol­i­day experience, which we know Aus­tralia pos­sesses,” Mr O’Sul­li­van said.

Chevy Chase played the ugly Amer­i­can tourist but we love the real ones.

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