SOURCE: Thomas, Townsend & Kent

March 29, 2006 08:00 ET

Interest in Australia as a Travel Destination Doubles in the Last Year

Respondents to Thomas, Townsend & Kent's Travel Intentions Survey Are Keen on Adventure Cruises, Tours to the Land "Down Under"

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 29, 2006 -- Affluent Americans are opting for vacations that focus on adventure travel and exotic destinations -- and Australia is the destination that currently tops the list.

A recent study conducted by online publisher Thomas, Townsend & Kent (TTK) and market intelligence firm BIGresearch revealed that the number of affluent Americans planning trips to Australia -- either land tours or cruises -- has doubled since last year.

Approximately 10 percent of survey respondents with household incomes of $100,000 or more reported that they are planning to travel "Down Under" in 2006. The percentage of travelers booking land-based Australian vacations increased 112 percent from the previous year. The number intending to explore Australia via a cruise ship increased 83 percent.

"Australia is a destination that has always had tremendous appeal," stated Roy Weiss, TTK's executive vice president. "This surge in interest is great news for both tour operators and cruise lines that service this destination," he added.

Survey respondents are subscribers to TTK's e-magazines, Your Travel Insider and Luxury Cruise News, both of which are published 18 times a year and have readerships in excess of 1 million. Subscribers to these popular publications are affluent active travelers -- many take several vacations each year and are continually looking for exciting travel offers and vacation ideas. TTK polls its subscribers periodically to garner insights on their upcoming travel intentions.

For this recent survey, TTK and BIGresearch polled 4,121 individuals in TTK's various travel-related databases.

For a complimentary report on these findings, please visit www.thomastownsendandkent.com.

About Thomas, Townsend & Kent:

Chicago-based Thomas, Townsend & Kent (www.thomastownsendandkent.com) is an online publisher and database marketing firm that specializes in connecting marketers with affluent consumers. The TTK Affluent Americans Database, with detailed purchase intent information on nearly three million households, is the nation's most comprehensive database of this highly desirable consumer segment. TTK leverages this proprietary database, along with its various web-based operations, to conduct ongoing surveys with consumers regarding purchases related to their affluent lifestyle. TTK's clients include Gateway, Holland America, NEC and Verizon.