- Australia has beaten off competition from Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand to be voted 2011 'Best Asia/Pacific Destination' by Irish travel agents.
- The Irish accolade comes just weeks after Australia was voted the “Best Country to Visit Worldwide” in this year’s British Travel Awards.
Australia has beaten off competition from Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand to be voted 2011 'Best Asia/Pacific Destination' by Irish travel agents.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the award win was further proof of Australia’s enduring appeal within Ireland and a great boost ahead of the recently announced British and Irish Lions rugby tour of Australia.
"Despite the tough economic climate hampering consumer confidence, the support of travel agents goes a long way in keeping Australia top of mind," he said.
"The award is very timely, with this week's announcement by the British and Irish Lions of their match schedule for their 2013 tour of Australia, which is always massively population with travelling Irish rugby fans."
Announcing the award, Ronan Flood, Managing Editor of Irish Travel Trade News, acknowledged Australia's stand- out performance in what has been an exceptionally difficult year for all involved in the travel industry.
"In hard times like these it is especially important to recognise and reward companies that continued to provide outstanding products and services in 2011 – as judged by Ireland’s travel agents," he said.
Mr McEvoy said while economic factors had undoubtedly impacted demand for Australia out of Ireland, there were encouraging signs more recently that the Irish still retained their love of Australia.
“The economic situation over in Ireland is undoubtedly difficult at the moment but we are seeing some signs of improvement. Irish arrivals are actually up 6 per cent so far this year, with a huge bounce of nearly 50 per cent this September compared to last.
"Ironically, one of the benefits of Ireland's tough economic situation has been luring a lot more young Irish travellers down under recently, many of them taking advantage of the working holiday visa to combine work with leisure," he said.
The Irish accolade comes just weeks after Australia was voted the “Best Country to Visit Worldwide” in this year’s British Travel Awards.