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Australia to host luxury travel symposium.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

AUSTRALIA TO HOST LUXURY TRAVEL SYMPOSIUM The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, says Australia's tourism industry is set to benefit from Sydney winning the right to host a highly prized international symposium focussing on the luxury travel sector.

The symposium - facilitated by the invitation-only luxury retail travel consortia, Virtuoso - will increase Australia's profile and appeal amongst high-spending international travellers.

Minister Ferguson said: “The travel agents and suppliers travelling to Sydney next year specialise in the luxury market throughout North and South America, and the Caribbean. They can clearly be very important to Australian tourism as they have the potential to bring the highest-spending visitors to our shores.

"There are significant growth opportunities for Australia's international luxury travel market. Australia is a world-class destination with a diverse range of experiences to offer the wealthy traveller, including an increasing range of five-star-plus accommodation.

“Virtuoso’s travel agents and advisors specialise in providing their affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences, and privileged access and staging the symposium in Australia gives our industry’s luxury suppliers an exceptional opportunity to showcase their products and services; many of which the symposium delegates will be able to experience first-hand.”

The 2009 Virtuoso Symposium will take place in Sydney for one week from April 20 to April 27 and is expected to welcome more than 400 delegates including travel agents, suppliers, and other travel industry representatives.

The event will also attract CEO’s of the group’s principal suppliers, including leading international airlines and hotels. Every year, Virtuoso’s International Symposium brings global Virtuoso partners and members together. Previous Symposiums have been held in Athens and St Petersburg.

Tourism Australia has established a partnership with Virtuoso which includes training and educating the 6000 Virtuoso agents throughout the Americas about Australian travel experiences, as well as joint marketing activity. The partnership was formed in 2007 in order to help grow the luxury se

gment in Australia.

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

25 Aug 2008