The 10-day visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George this month has been described by Tourism Australia’s Managing Director John O’Sullivan as “tourism gold” generating “the kind of international exposure that is difficult to put a price on.” The royal family visited icons such as the Blue Mountains, Sydney Harbour, Manly Beach and Uluru with images broadcast around the world.
Visiting Uluru. Photo source: www.theaustralian.com.au.
Recent high profile visits by US TV stars Oprah and Ellen led to a record number of Americans visiting Australia last year, and the tourism industry says it expects a similar pay-off from the 10-day visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.
Analysts predict it could lead to an additional $50-60 million in tourist spending driven by a boost in visitors from Britain, with even more from other countries.
British interest in travel to Australia has surged in the wake of [the] royal tour, although New Zealand has proved even more popular.
Data from hotel search site Trivago showed that British hotel searches for Australia were up by 32%.
A trip up to the Blue Mountains. Photo source: www.theaustralian.com.au.
However, coverage of the Royals in New Zealand appeared to have resonated more strongly with Brits, with hotel searches for the destination up by an average 70% overall.
Wellington, where Wills and Kate spent a total of four days, proved a particular hit, with online searches jumping 169% since the visit.
“It’s great for tourism in both New Zealand and Australia to see a significant increase in hotel searches from the UK following Kate and William’s visit,” Trivago UK’s Denise Bartlett said. "It is surprising that travel interest to New Zealand was significantly higher than Australia – perhaps this can be attributed to a higher level of media coverage at the beginning of the visit.”
Taronga Zoo with bilby named George. Photo source: www.theaustralian.com.au.
She noted that the destinations on Kate and William’s itinerary were not the only beneficiaries of increased interest following the visit, with the whole of Australia and New Zealand receiving a boost.
"Australian and New Zealand hoteliers should be encouraged by this increase in travel interest from the UK.”
Sydney saw the greatest increase in interest in Australia climbing by 11% the weekend after their visit as compared with the weekend before.
Waving goodbye from Fairbairne Airbase. Photo source: www.theaustralian.com.au.