BY JAMES WILKINSON IN LOS ANGELES
Australian business at the US West Coast’s Handlery Hotels in San Francisco and San Diego is already topping 2011 levels just four months into this year.
Speaking exclusively to HM at International Pow Wow in Los Angeles today (Apr 26 AEST), Handlery Hotels’ President Jon Handlery said quite simply the Australian market was “booming”.
“2011 was our best year ever,” he said. “And now we’re already ahead of last year.
“The Australian market has been our number one international market for the past five years and because San Francisco is firmly on the radar for Aussies, I expect that to continue,” Handlery said.
At the company’s San Diego property, Handlery said Australia was number one, however the growth wasn’t as significant as San Francisco because “many still visit for the day from Anaheim”.
Competitive pricing from airlines on trans-Pacific flights was having a significant effect on the properties’ success, Handlery said, and while that remains in place, he expects the Australian market to continue to grow.
He also attributed the strength of the market to attending Visit USA Organisation Australia’s annual roadshows in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney for the past 25 years.
“I’ve been going down to Australia for the past two and a half decades and to see the result now is phenomenal,” Handlery said.
Statistics released at Pow Wow have shown Australian arrivals into the United States skyrocketed past the million mark in 2011, with 1,038,000 visiting America, a 40% jump on the 720,000 that visited in 2009.
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