Tourism to America’s great outdoors is getting expensive, with Australians paying a record high of $2,800 for a single stay.
Photo: Supplied Mr Graham said it was an expensive proposition for Australians who had come to the US to see nature.
“People will pay more than they’re paying here, and there are a lot of costs associated with that, including travel and accommodation,” he said.
“The cost of a one-night stay in a hotel in the US is $4,200, and for a two-nightstay in a city hotel it’s $8,500.”
Mr Graham told the ABC there were plenty of reasons to go, including the opportunity to see the Big Apple in person, the chance to go for a few days in the wild, and the thrill of a wilderness trip.
“It’s a pretty big country, and people who live in big cities, they’re used to living with more people and going to more places, so I think it’s probably worth it,” he he said, adding that some people would take advantage of the extra money.
“You’re probably going to get some great experiences, but also some terrible experiences.”
Mr Jones said the increase was a result of a “massive surge” in visitors from overseas, who were more likely to be “high-net-worth” people, who can afford to pay more.
“They’re not going to be as cheap as people who are just living in Sydney, or Melbourne, or Canberra, or anywhere else in the country,” he told the program.
“These are the people who you need to be looking out for.”
Tourism to Australia’s great outdoor sources Australian Tourism Industry Association (ATI) chief executive Matthew Smith said the “frightening” increase in the number of people visiting the country was likely to continue.
“Australians are going to continue to see a rise in visitor numbers, which is likely to increase by 10 per cent over the next year or so,” Mr Smith said.
He said Australians travelling to Australia were also becoming increasingly reliant on “social media”.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in social media use, especially for social media and for Instagram and Snapchat, which has a real impact on the social interactions Australians have in the tourism industry,” he explained.
“If we keep on at that rate of increase we’re going to see an increase in visitor counts, so it’s really about the people coming to the country who want to experience the beauty of Australia, the great outdoors, and we need to make sure that we’re making sure that people are getting the right kind of experience.”
Mr Smith also predicted that a “fear factor” in the growth of tourists to Australia would continue.
While he conceded the trend had been “strong”, Mr Smith warned that Australians had to prepare for “a very large increase in demand” if the country’s economy were to continue growing at its current rate.
Mr Jones echoed those sentiments, saying that the demand for “social and cultural tourism” had been rising at “an incredible rate”.
He said that while it was not a sustainable model, the growth in tourism was “going to continue”.
“It just shows that there is demand for a wide range of activities that are associated with our tourism,” he conceded.
“We are going from the peak of a very intense tourism season to an almost even-paced, year-round season, which will be the case for the next five years or so.”
The growth in demand was driven by people travelling overseas, with more Australians travelling abroad to enjoy nature and visit their friends and family.
Mr Graham argued that while some people might consider the extra cost of travelling overseas to be a “cost” to them, it was in fact “a good thing for our economy”.
He suggested that people who travelled overseas were more willing to pay “a premium” to travel to the United States.
“I don’t think it is fair that Australians who have stayed in the States for six months or longer can’t get to the big city and have their holidays,” he argued.
“That’s not fair.
If you’re going on a six-month vacation and you’re not able to make it to a big city, I don’t know how you are going on that holiday, but you’re getting that money back.”