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International tourist numbers set to double.



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Media Release

Jackie Kelly

Minister for Sport and Tourism

 

 

Sunday, 23 May 1999

99/143

 

 

INTERNATIONAL TOURIST NUMBERS SET TO DOUBLE

 

The number of overseas tourists visiting Australia is set to double in the next decade, according to the latest finding s of the Tourism Forecasting Council (TFC).

 

Releasing details today, Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly, said that 8.4 million international visitors were expected to come to Australia in 2008, compared with 4.2 million in 1998.

 

While they are here they will spend a massive $33 billion up from $16 billion in 1998.

 

The Minister said the findings highlight the critical contribution the tourism industry will make to Australia’s national wealth over the next 10 years.

 

“While tourism certainly suffered some pain in 1998, it withstood the effects of the economic downturn in Asia arid elsewhere remarkably well, and has shown itself to be one of our strongest and most resilient industry sectors,” she said.

 

“Although overseas arrivals fell by 3.5 per cent last year, the number of nights they stayed rose by 4 per cent and the amount they spent by 3 per cent.

 

“This reflected the speed with which the industry was able to adjust its marketing efforts, with the help of a major injection of Federal funds.

 

“Tourism will obviously continue to make a major contribution to our economy - and be a major job creator well into the next millennium.”

 

The forecasts suggest that over the next decade we will see a return to growth from most of our established Asian markets, continued solid growth in traditional markets such as Europe and North America, and a strong surge in interest from emerging markets such as China and India.

 

China is set to become our sixth largest source of overseas tourists, with the TFC forecasting average annual growth of just over 21 per cent a year to 2008.

 

Japan is expected to retain its position as our number one source market with growth forecast to average 6.6 per cent a year, while visitor numbers from the United Kingdom (and Ireland), Germany and the United States will increase by an annual average of 6.3 per cent, 5 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.

 

Importantly, Asian markets such as South Korea and Indonesia are forecast to return to double-digit growth, although visitor numbers from these countries aren’t expected to reach ‘pre-crisis’ levels until 2005.

 

TFC Chairman, Sir Frank Moore, said the past 18 months had reinforced that the tourism industry was operating in a highly competitive global environment, and was subject to factors ranging from changing exchange rates to fashion trends.

 

“The TFC is committed to monitoring these influences so it can provide government and industry with up-to-date and reliable forecasts of tourist activity on which to base planning and investment decisions,” he said.

 

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KEY TFC FINDINGS

 

Overseas visitor numbers and nights

 

To jump from 4.2 million in 1998 to 8.4 million in 2008 (growth averaging 7.3 per cent a year). These visitors to spend almost 190 million nights in Australia in 2008, compared with an estimated 95 million in 1998.

 

The forecasts indicate an increase in visitor arrivals in 1999 of 3.8 per cent and of 9.2 per cent in 2000. This follows a decline of 3.5 per cent in 1998.

 

Expenditure

 

Overseas tourists to spend $33 billion in 2008, up from $16 billion in 1998.

 

Major market breakdown

 

Japan

 

A return to growth anticipated in the year 2000 with growth averaging 6.6 per cent a year to 2008. More than 1.4 million Japanese tourists to come to Australia in that year.

 

China

 

China to become our sixth largest source of tourists behind Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States and South Korea. Around 520 000 Chinese visitors to conic to Australia in 2008, following average growth of 21.1 per cent a year.

 

Indonesia and South Korea

 

A return to double-digit growth expected from these markets, following the dramatic decline in the wake of the Asian economic crisis. Visitors numbers will return to 'pre-shock' levels by 2005.

 

United Kingdom (including lreland)

 

To continue growing strongly ~ by an average of 6.3 per cent a year ~ with more than 900 000 tourists expected from this market in 2008.

 

Germany

 

This market is expected to slow before returning to modest growth in the middle of the decade. More than 200 000 German tourists will come to Australia in 2008, following average annual growth of 5 per cent.

 

United States

 

This market will continue to perform solidly with almost 600 000 Americans expected to come to Australia in 2008. This represents annual growth of 4.9 per cent a year,

 

New Zealand

 

The number of New Zealanders visiting Australia will grow modestly, from 709 000 in 1998 to 856 000 in 2008. The United Kingdom will take over New, Zealand's position as our second largest market.

 

TFC Chairman, Sir Frank Moore, said the past 18 months had reinforced that the tourism industry was operating in a highly competitive global environment, and was subject to factors ranging from changing exchange rates to fashion trends.

 

“The TFC is committed to monitoring these influences so it can provide government and industry with up-to-date and reliable forecasts of tourist activity on which to base planning and investment decisions,” he said.

 

Media inquiries:

Peter Cassuben

Minister Kelly’s Office

0417 980 009

 

Alison Allcock

TFC Technical Committee

(02) 6247 4415/0418 607 343

 

 

 

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