GfKSource = GfK The British invasion to down underChristmas 2015 is shaping up to be bigger than 2014 for inbound international arrivals to Australia as total bookings are up 4% for the period 14 December to 10 January, according to GfK ForwardKeys. The largest contributor to this trend is the United Kingdom, which is up 14% compared to the previous year.“What is interesting about the UK bookings for this period is that they are already at 78% maturity, while other major international arrival countries such as New Zealand and China are only at 34% and 21% maturity,” said GfK ForwardKeys Account Manager David Beliveau. “This tells us that UK travellers are more long term planners while New Zealand and Chinese travellers are short term planners when booking a holiday to Australia.”“Now that the majority of the UK travellers have locked in their flights to Australia they will be looking to book accommodation, tours, and other activities,” Beliveau continued. “This is the ideal time for the Australian travel sector to target these individuals.”UK bookings to Australia’s main cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth are currently up 13%, 17%, 15%, and 7% respectively.While UK pax per booking is predominantly 2 persons (51%), the 3 persons (12%) and 4 persons (14%) segments have increased by 28% and 24% compared to last year.Furthermore, current bookings show 27% of UK travellers will stay 14 to 21 nights, while the 9 to 13 nights and 22 nights or more segments are a respectable 21% and 20% of bookings. “If you want to capture the British leisure tourist dollars in Australia over the Christmas period, the game is predominantly for those arriving between 14 December and 10 January,” said Mr. Beliveau.GfK ForwardKeys is a daily update of forward flight bookings, looking forward up to 9 months and historically back to 2008 between any two airports in the world.*GfK ForwardKeys data as at Saturday, 22 August 2015 for the period Monday, 14 December 2015 to Sunday, 10 January 2016 versus the same period in 2014.