The recent slump in the value of the Australian dollar has been welcomed by a senior academic at the Australian school of Business, who says it will give a dramatic boost to tourism.
Professor Larry Dwyer said "recent falls in the value of the Australian dollar give the tourist industry some cause for optimism that inbound tourism numbers will grow, and fewer Australians will spend their holidays overseas."
The Australian dollar is now at its lowest level in almost three years after a dramatic crash in value in less than a month. The dollar was pushing one dollar ten cents just a few months back - it is now fetching only 95 US cent, and with major banks forecasting a further fall in value.
Professor Dwyer, who is also President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, said "the fact is that the dollar still remains relatively strong against the currencies of many of Australia's competitor destinations. And it is that historically high level, which deters tourists in coming to Australia."
He has studied international passenger numbers, and said "even though figures show that the number of international passengers through Sydney and Melbourne airports is rising, and Americans have always regarded Australia as a dream destination, they still regard the cost and the distance to come here as daunting. When the dollar was at $1.10 many US tourists found Australia prohibitively expensive for them, particularly holiday makers from the US East coast, who also have the tyranny of distance to cope with. Despite recent falls in the dollar, this is still an issue."
The Australian dollar has came under pressure recently after disappointing Australian economic data, and reductions in interest rates from the RBA over the past few months.
Professor Dwyer says "the key issue for the Australian tourism industry will be the extent to which the falling dollar generates more tourism from China. This will be largely determined by economic growth in the Chinese economy."
"Perhaps the major impact of the falling dollar in the short term will be a shift from outbound tourism to domestic tourism. If this occurs it will be of major benefit to local tourism businesses that have been hurting due to Australian residents' preferences for holidays overseas rather than in Australia."
For further details, contact Professor Dwyer on 02 9385 2636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 1574