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New data shows tourism deficit in Australia

08-06-2010 09:13 BJT

Australians have made a record number of short trips overseas, and economists on Wednesday said it is hurting the local tourism industry.

Australians have made a record number of short trips overseas, and economists on Wednesday said it is hurting the local tourism industry.
Australians have made a record number of short trips overseas, and economists
on Wednesday said it is hurting the local tourism industry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released on Wednesday showed a gap between overseas visitors to Australia and Australian heading abroad of more than 280,000.

6.8 million Australians took a short trip overseas last financial year, with New Zealand (more than one million trips), Indonesia (650,000) and the United States (630,000) the most popular destinations.

In contrast, ABS figures showed only 5.7 million visitors made a short term visit to Australia.

Traditionally a net recipient of tourists, the ABS figures showed Australia has had a tourist deficit since 2007-08.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the tourism deficit has mainly been caused by the relatively high Australian dollar, and is hurting tourism and accommodation operators.

"There's a record number now of people traveling overseas compared with those coming to Australia, and what it means for the tourism regions is that we're going to see less profitability and less employment," James told ABC News on Wednesday.

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