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Australia-Thailand tourism on strong footing.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

AUSTRALIA-THAILAND TOURISM ON STRONG FOOTING The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has told an Australian-Thailand Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Bangkok that new Australian Government initiatives and new air services arrangements will benefit tourism between Australia and Thailand.

Minister Ferguson said: "Thailand is already an important tourism market for Australia and a vital hub for Asian and European travellers coming to Australia.

"The Australia-Thailand aviation market is Australia’s 6th largest, with the number of people travelling between our two countries in the twelve months to May up almost 20 per cent on the previous twelve month period. More than 80,000 Thais visited Australia during 2007, with a further 225,000 travellers en route to Australia transiting via Thailand that year.

"The air services negotiations in July resulted in the maximum number of possible weekly flights increasing from 35 to 40 B747-400 equivalent services - and this will increase again to 45 from March 2009.

"These increases are vital to our tourism market as they will improve Australia's access to Bangkok and its extensive network of connections throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

"It is now up to Australia's tourism and aviation industries to work together to capitalise on the new opportunities presented and maximise the potential for growth."

Minister Ferguson also outlined the work being done by the Australian Government and the Australian tourism industry to better meet the demands of a changing international tourism market.

Minister Ferguson said: "Providing tourists to Australia a higher quality experience and better value for money will increase Australia's competitiveness as a tourist destination.

"My commitment to tourism accreditation and the Australian Government's recently-announced National Long-Term Tourism Strategy will help achieve these goals.

"Through this Strategy, the Australian Government will respond to long-standing supply-side issues such as tourism investment, infrastructure, and labour shortages.

"The Australian Government is also establishing a national tourism accreditation framework which will help lift the standard of the Australian tourism experience and allow accredited businesses to differentiate themselves as quality operators who meet the expectations of discerning customers."

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

08 Aug 2008