2009 may be worst for tourism Down Under

December 30th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 30 (ANI): The number of tourists to Australia will decline in 2009 to the lowest level since 1989, a report has said.

As the global financial crisis bites, Australia could be short on overseas visitors for at least the next two years, impacting severely on destinations that rely solely on international guests.

The report said that the number of visitors is predicted to fall from 5.56 million to 5.33 million, with next year shaping as the industry’’s worst since 1989.

The Tourism Forecasting Committee predicts international numbers will recover by 2010, but other experts warn the pain may continue well into 2010.

“Unless we see a huge pick-up in the global economy to the later half of 2009 into 2010, then that year could be looking just as bleak,” Age.com.au quoted the executive director of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Olivia Wirth, as telling ABC Radio.

It’’s too early to call at this stage,” she said.

Wirth said that with destinations such as Cairns and Uluru predominantly visited by international guests, some people might lose their jobs and businesses might close.

Other setbacks for Australia’’s tourism industry include shark attacks and shark sightings.

And with recession taking a toll on Australias tourism industry, the country is to be promoted through a series of advertisements created by the filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. (ANI)

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