Tourism in Australia is an important component of the Australian economy. In the financial year 2014/15, tourism represented 3.0% of Australia's GDP contributing A$47.5 billion to the national economy. Domestic tourism is a significant part of the tourism industry, representing 73% of the total direct tourism GDP.
In calendar year 2015, there were 7.4 million visitor arrivals. Tourism employed 580,800 people in Australia in 2014-15, 5% of the workforce.About 43.7% of persons employed in tourism were part-time. Tourism also contributed 8.0% of Australia's total export earnings in 2010-11.
Popular Australian destinations include the coastal cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as well as other high-profile destinations including regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef. Uluru and the Australian outback are other popular locations, as is the Tasmanian wilderness. The unique Australian wildlife is also another significant point of interest in the country's tourism.
All visitors to Australia, apart from New Zealanders, require advance permission to enter the country. For most countries, a full visa is required. Holders of passports of all European Union countries as well as all Schengen Area countries and European microstates only need to apply online for an eVisitor authorisation. Citizens of some OECD and some East Asian countries are able to apply for the similar Electronic Travel Authority authorisation.
Australia's international tourism campaigns have focused on Australia's laid back style, such as an 1980s advertising campaign featuring actor Paul Hogan telling American tourists "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you", or its cheeky side, as in its controversial 2006 campaign in the United Kingdom using the Australian colloquialism slogan "So where the bloody hell are you?".
Tourism Australia's "No Leave No Life" campaign was launched in March 2009 by the Federal Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP. This campaign was designed to remind employees of the personal and professional benefits of taking annual leave, and of taking that leave in Australia. At 30 June 2009 there were 126 million days of stockpiled annual leave in the Australian economy. At the end of the June 2010 quarter, this number had decreased to 117 million days, following falls in the preceding three quarters.
Tourism Australia's latest consumer campaign "There's Nothing Like Australia" invites Australians to share their favourite Australian place or experience with the world.
The campaign is based on research conducted by Tourism Australia that showed Australians were eager to get involved in promoting their country. It was developed to involve Australians because they are the experts on what makes Australia unlike anywhere else. The core message, that "There's Nothing Like Australia" was designed for longevity through different mediums, audiences and activities.
New Zealand tourists make up a distinctive part of the Australian tourism market, usually taking short package tours which concentrate heavily on the iconic sights (typically Sydney, Uluru, Gold Coast and Cairns),and viewing Australian native animals (particularly the koala and kangaroo).
Another major source of tourists to Australia include backpackers, mostly young people from WesternWorking holiday visas for Australia are available for those aged 18 to 30 for most Western European citizens, and also citizens of Canada and some developed East Asian nations such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
The domestic tourism market is estimated at $63 billion. In 2009, the Australian domestic market experienced a 10% slump in the number of visitor nights. Domestic tourism in general and in particular free caravan and camping sites for overnight accommodation experienced strong demand in 2012.
Australians are big domestic travellers, with a profusion of seaside resort towns in every state (many located on or near good surfing beaches), mountain retreats, plentiful national parks, rivers, fishing locations, wine growing regions, as well as domestic visitation of the major tourist spots. Domestic tourism peaks during the Australian school holidays.
In 2011, a leading Australian travel agent warned that low-cost carriers such as AirAsia and Jetstar who offered cheap packages to Asia threatened the domestic tourism market.
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