Record numbers of Aussies take exotic trips

A record number of Aussies took short-term overseas trips in the last financial year, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have confirmed.

Around eight million people left the country's shores in 2011-12, which was up from 7.4 million the previous year. This was also double the amount of travellers who visited a foreign land ten years ago.

The organisation revealed that New Zealand was the most popular destination, with 1.1 million tourists making the short journey.

However, it seems that a lot of people also jetted off to more exotic locations, with places like Spain, Brazil and Thailand all receiving greater numbers of Aussie travellers.

According to the Tourism Forecasting Committee, sunny beach resorts are increasingly appealing to the average Aussie.

Speaking to the News Limited Network, chairman of the organisation Bernard Salt said: "You could say Koh Samui and Phuket in Thailand are the next Bali and Fiji. It's an overnight flight away and there are cheap Jetstar flights to Bangkok."

Mr Salt also suggested that the strong Aussie dollar is ensuring tourists from down under are getting the best exchange rates when heading abroad.

It is little surprise that the ABS figures showed that 819,000 Aussies travelled to the US last year, as the dollar has gained on the American equivalent.

"The Australian dollar has strength so the trip to Disneyland or Hawaii becomes feasible," Mr Salt added.

His comments certainly tie in with a recent study conducted by Visa, which showed that Aussies spent $6.8 million on their travel credit cards in 2011, which was a six per cent rise on the previous year.

It is important for people to lock in these favourable exchange rates and this can be done by purchasing a prepaid travel card.

Many products will guarantee that you receive the current rate, even if there are sudden dips in the market by the time your holiday comes around.

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