Only about 40 percent of Americans have a valid passport, according to official statistics.
It’s why Australian airline Qantas has come up with a nifty marketing campaign to lure Americans Down Under — by paying for their passports.
The airline is offering a US$135 discount on its fares to Australia, which is the same cost as getting a U.S. passport.
“Australia is in the top five destinations Americans would consider travelling to in the next four years, yet more than half the population do not hold a valid passport,” Qantas chief customer officer Olivia Wirth said in a statement.
“As Australia’s national carrier we are proud and excited to share all that Australia has to offer — and with this campaign we are keen to help boost tourism to our cities, towns and regional areas at the same time.”
According to Tourism Australia, in 2017 there were 707,000 U.S. visitors to Australia up until the month of August, a 10 percent year-on-year increase from 2016. The U.S. is the fourth-largest source of inbound tourists, behind the UK, China and New Zealand.
Americans by far and large prefer to visit Europe in terms of overseas destinations, with France the most visited, followed by the UK, Italy and Germany. Of those visiting Australia, one-third of arrivals are travelling as a couple, and the most popular destination is (unsurprisingly) the Great Barrier Reef.
Yes, it might be a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles. But it’ll be worth it.