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International tourist spending spree

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Media Release

More tourists are coming to Australia and best o f all they’re spending a lot more money.

The latest figures, released today by the Federal Minister for Tourism, show Australia’s lucrative inbound tourism market experienced a strong upward surge in export earnings to the year ended 31 March 1999 and remains on target to meet even stronger future growth

While the number of tourists visiting Australia rose by 2 per cent in the 12 months to March 1999 - spending increased a remarkable 15 percent over the previous year.

“This outstanding result confirms tourism as the growing giant o f the Australian economy and the big new generator of jobs particularly for young people,” Jackie Kelly the Federal Minister for Tourism said.

The findings are contained in the International Visitor Survey produced by the Bureau of Tourism Research.

Japan was the largest source of visitors (692,00), followed by New Zealand (652,700), the United Kingdom (465,800) and the USA (363,900).

The report shows that more than half the increased expenditure by overseas visitors was spent on food, drinks and accommodation - all significant jobs generating sectors of the $60 billion per annum Australian tourism industry.

The Minister welcomed the strong performance of the $16 billion inbound tourism sector which is Australia’s biggest export earner.

“The tourism industry must now strive to meet a forecast doubling of inbound tourism by 2008 to lift the dollar value of international visitors to Australia to more than $30 billion per year.

"The fastest growing markets during the year were the UK and Canada which were both up by 15 per cent, followed by the USA which was up 12 per cent and China by 11 per cent.

"Australia's strategy of maintaining its presence in newer markets that have recently undergone economic difficulties has been endorsed by today's figures which show dramatic increases in recent visitor arrivals from some o f these countries,” Minister Kelly said.

During the March 1999 quarter visitor arrivals from Korea increased by 92 per cent compared to the same quarter in 1998, Malaysia was up by 41 per cent, Indonesia by 36 per cent and Thailand by 18 per cent.

Minister for Sport and Tourism

Wednesday, 22 September 1999 99 296


Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 7080 Fax: (02) 6273 4571

"The continued strength o f Australia's traditional markets, including double digit growth in the UK and US markets is extremely encouraging.

"Australia is weii on track to reach its international visitor targets in 2000 and stands ready to capitalise on the international exposure afforded by the Sydney 2000 Games.

International Visitors in Australia ~ Quarterly Results o f the International Visitor Survey is available from the Bureau o f Tourism Research, phone (02) 6213 6967 for copies.

A summary o f the survey results follows.

Media inquiries: Peter Cassuben CM R4I4 Minister Kelly’s Office

(02) 6277 7080/0417 980 009

Survey inquiries: Peter Robins Director, BTR (02) 6213 7125

INTERNATIONAL VISITOR SURVEY ~ 12 months ending 31 March 1999

K ey F in d in g s

• During the year ended March 1999 there was 3,952,800 visitors to Australia aged 15 years and over, a rise o f 2 per cent compared to the year ended March 1998

• The main reasons for visitors coming to Australia were:

- 2,154,500 (55%) for a holiday - 799,800 (20%) to visit friends and relatives - 438,900 (11%) for business - 559,500 (14%) for other reasons (for example, education)

• Visitors visiting friends and relatives stayed the longest time in Australia (26 nights) followed by holiday visitors (19 nights) and business visitors (14 nights).

( 9% o f all international visitors to Australia were backpackers and on average stayed 69 nights.)

• A total of 105 million visitor nights were spent in Australia.

• The average trip expenditure in Australia per visitor was $2,224 (excludes travel packages purchased overseas and pre-paid international airfares).

• 54% of all visitors to Australia had visited before.

• 19% of all visitors came to Australia on a group tour.

• New South Wales received the most visitors during the period (55%), followed by Queensland (46%), Victoria (27%), Western Australia (13%), Northern Territory (9%), South Australia (8%), Australian Capital Territory (5%) and Tasmania (3%).

• Visitor nights were spent mostly in New South Wales (34%) followed by Victoria (20%), Western Australia (12%), South Australia (4%), Northern Territory (3%), Tasmania (2%), and Australian Capital Territory (2%).