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New tourism forecasts show Australia performing better than competitors.



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The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

17 Jul 2009

NEW TOURISM FORECASTS SHOW AUSTRALIA PERFORMING BETTER THAN COMPETITORS

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, says the Tourism Forecasting Committee’s (TFC) latest forecast for 2009 show Government policy is sustaining Australia’s tourism industry in a very difficult international environment and that Australia is out-performing many competing destinations.

In the midst of a deteriorating international tourism market, Australia’s inbound tourist forecast has defied industry expectations and predicts a 4% decline for 2009: a slight improvement on the Committee’s last forecast of a 4.1% decline, issued in December.

Minister Ferguson said: “I am pleased to see Government policies cushioning the impact of the global recession.

“While markets such as Japan (-27%) the UK (-12%), and the USA (-10%) have recorded big declines in visitor numbers throughout 2009, today’s TFC forecast suggests Australia is sustaining its appeal in a very difficult international environment.

“Our marketing campaigns are keeping Australia front of mind for international travellers during these challenging times in which seven of our top ten overseas markets are in recession.

“Tourism Australia is spending $90 million annually selling Australia to the world.

“The Australian Government’s nation building program and budgetary measures are also playing a key role. The recent tax cuts, tourism grant increases and Nation Building infrastructure initiatives are just as important to tourism.

“Australian tourism operators stand to gain significantly from the recent $50 million extension of the Export Market Development Grants scheme, the extension of the small business tax break from 30% to 50%, while the Governments $42 billion stimulus package

and personal tax cuts continue to support jobs, increase discretionary spending, and build tourism and transport infrastructure across Australia.”

Minister Ferguson this morning addressed the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and outlined the importance of the work being undertaken by the Australian Government to support the tourism industry.

The TFC says the economic value of international tourism to Australia is forecast to decrease 2.1% to $24.2 billion in 2009 before returning to growth in 2010 (+2.2%). The Government’s support for tourism will importantly sustain the industry until international tourist numbers return to forecasted growth of 3.1% in 2010.

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744