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Tourists keep coming back, are spending more and staying longer.

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Media Release

Joe Hockey

Acting Minister for Sport and Tourism


Thursday, 20 January 2000 




Tourists keep coming back to Australia, are spending more and are staying longer according t o new research released today by Acting Federal Minister for Sport and Tourism, Joe Hockey.


The International Visitors in Australia 1998 report produced by the Bureau of Tourism Research revealed the amount of money overseas travellers spent increased by nine per cent in 1998 to $8.3 billion, compared to $7.6 billion in 1997.


The number of nights international travellers spent in Australia increased by seven per cent compared to the 1997 calendar year, despite the total number of overseas visitors falling by three per cent.


“1998 was the first year the number of tourists coming back to Australia out-numbered those visiting Australia for the first time - this and all the results in the report confirms Australia’s growing maturity as a tourist destination,” Acting Minister Hockey said.


“The results are excellent, particularly with the softness of the Asian economy, and highlights just how strong our tourism industry is.”


The report found the economic difficulties in Asia affected the number of people visiting Australia from Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, however, this was largely offset by an increase in visitors from other countries.


Japan remained our largest source of international visitors, followed by New Zealand. The number of visitors from the United Kingdom increased by 16 per cent, visitors from China were up by 15 per cent and the number of visitors from the United States increased by 14 per cent.


“Growth in these important markets is a tribute to the industry and reflects the extra funding for the Australian Tourist Commission to increase marketing in North America and Europe,” Acting Minister Hockey said.


“Contrary to predictions of a massive downturn in tourism from the Asia region, Australia’s overall position has been improved by the strategic actions of our dynamic tourism industry and the work of the Federal Government.”


The International Visitors in Australia 1998 report is available from the Bureau of Tourism Research by phoning (02) 6213 6967.


Media inquiries:

Peter Cassuben CMR 12-0 Acting Minister Hockey’s Office

(02) 9929 9822

mobile 0417 980 009


mm  2000-01-21  10:09