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Media Release The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

17 April 2002 02/055

INTERNATIONAL TOURIST NUMBERS TO MORE THAN DOUBLE IN A DECADE

The number of international visitors to Australia is expected to more than double during the next decade, contributing in excess of $34.9 billion to Australia’s export earnings in 2012, according to the Tourism Forecasting Council’s (TFC) latest findings.

Today’s release of this new data on inbound, domestic and outbound tourist activity predicts there will be more than 10 million international visitors to Australia by 2012, which is more than double the current intake.

Importantly, the 2012 forecast shows that 44 per cent of inbound tourists will come from non-Japan Asia.

These forecasts will feed into the Government’s 10-year plan for tourism. An important feature of the plan will be setting clear goals and targets for the tourism industry and these forecasts will help us do that.

The plan will identify opportunities and obstacles to sustainable tourism growth and encourage the building of partnerships between the various sectors of the industry and governments as we prepare for 10.4 million visitors by 2012.

This figure reflects expectations of improved economic growth in most major economies and progressive improvement in the long-haul travel market post September 11. The number of international visitors to Australia is expected to grow by an annual average rate of 7.3 per cent until 2012.

These findings are very good news for the tourism industry and highlight the significant contribution tourism will make to the Australian economy during the next decade. It’s particularly good news for employment in the industry in cities and regional areas, as more jobs will be generated to cater for the growth.

The TFC estimates also show that China, the UK, New Zealand, the US and South Korea are expected to be Australia’s leading inbound markets by 2012. The Council has significantly revised its forecasts of Japanese arrivals due to concerns over the economic prospects for the Japanese economy in the short to medium term.

A full copy of the Tourism Forecasting Council’s estimates is available on www.joehockey.com

Media inquiries: Holly Davidson, 0408975006 Technical inquiries: Michael Shiel, 02 62137081

CMR 02-089