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Mixed results fom latest tourims statistics.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

MIXED RESULTS FROM LATEST TOURISM STATISTICS The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, says Tourism Research Australia's International Visitors in Australia - March Quarter 2009 shows that despite a decline in visitors to Australia, tourists stayed longer and spent more during the first quarter of the year.

Australia welcomed 3 per cent fewer international tourists in the first three months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.

However the weaker Australian Dollar led to an 8 per cent increase in visitor nights and a 5 per cent increase in spending for the March quarter.

Minister Ferguson said: "The fact that tourists are staying longer and spending more is very good news for tourism operators and their 500,000 employees, and it acts as an important counterweight to the decline we are seeing in visitor numbers.

"Declining visitation will rightly be of concern to the industry however it is important to recognise that many comparable destinations are recording falls well beyond 10 per cent.

"The Global Financial Crisis is causing fewer people to travel. It is a global phenomenon, affecting all countries and Australia's tourism industry is not the only one being affected.

"Given that Australian tourism operators are presently confronted with recession in seven of our ten most lucrative international tourism markets, it is particularly pleasing to see the TRA statistics showing visitors from both China and India significantly increased spending and visitor nights during the first three months of 2009."

China was the strongest growing source market with increases for visitors (12%), visitor nights (13%), and total trip spend (36%).

Minister Ferguson said: "Through Tourism Australia, the Government is maintaining Australia's marketing presence in all key international markets so that Australia is front-of-mind for travellers once economic growth inevitably returns.

"However, these figures highlight the importance and potential of newer markets such as India and China for Australian tourism."

The International Visitors in Australia March 2009 Quarter report is available from Tourism Research Australia and can be downloaded at www.tra.australia.com or email tra@tourism.australia.com.

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

10 Jun 2009

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