San Fran reaps rewards of Aussie ‚Äúaffinity”

San Fran reaps rewards of Aussie ‚Äúaffinity”
By admin

A rise in the number of Aussies crossing the Pacific to visit San Francisco is not simply the result of the strong dollar, the San Francisco Travel Association has insisted.

President and chief executive Joe D'Alessandro told Travel Today at a Visit USA media event on Friday, that Australia is now the city's fourth most significant source market.

"We've seen double digit growth in the last couple of years," he said.

In 2011, Aussie numbers climbed 10% to 350,000 and, although the final figures for 2012 have not been released yet, D'Alessandro expects growth in the order of 10% or 11% for the year.

"It's really encouraging for such a strong mature market," he said.

While the strong dollar has inevitably played a role, with the US currently "very reasonably" priced for Australian visitors, the main driver is similarities between the two cultures, D'Alessandro explained.

"Australians have an affinity with San Francisco," he said. "We've got a common attitude."

He highlighted the city's "quirkiness" as a major pull, but added its standing as a "centre of innovation" also heightens its appeal.

"There's lots happening," he said. "It's much like Sydney."

D'Alessandro expressed hopes the city's hosting of the America's Cup in July will also be a drawcard for sports-loving Aussies.

"It's the first time in history that people will be able to watch the race from the shore," he added.

Meanwhile, the tourism body continues to work closely with Visit California, the airlines and local representative Gate 7 to grow its presence in the Australian market, with a strong focus on effectively updating the trade about new product.


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