Monday, June 18, 2018

Americans wowed by wonders Down Under

Americans seeking overseas travel adventures are flocking to take organised trips to Australia and New Zealand, according to US holiday club giant Diamond Resorts.

An inaugural 20-day antipodean tour hosted by the vacation club in February was so successful that a second trip has been scheduled, and fully pre-booked, for October.

Diamond Resorts organises the journeys through a points-based membership program it markets as “hand-crafted vacation experiences” which “help members make a habit of breaking from the routine”.

It said: “The journey to New Zealand and Australia was one many members have requested, and a second trip scheduled for October 2018 has already sold out.”

Billed as ‘a taste of the wonders Down Under’, the tour involved ten days traversing the north and south islands of Aotearoa before heading across the Tasman.

The visitors’ action-packed and cliché-ridden itinerary included sheep shows, Maori festivals and Queenstown thrill-seeking in New Zealand.

In Australia they toured the Sydney Opera House and native animal parks, went on rainforest walks and a Great Barrier Reef cruise, and took an outback sojourn to Alice Springs and Uluru.

Numbers of American visitors to Australia surged 17.4 per cent to 781,000 in the year to January, with US tourists spending $3.8billion. New Zealand has seen a rise of almost 10 per cent, with 337,664 visitors in the year to February.

The US is the third-largest tourism market for both countries.

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