The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) will lead a delegation of Australian
and New Zealand tourism operators to the World's largest travel show, Internationale Tourismus Borse (ITB), in Berlin this week.
ATC Managing Director, Ken Boundy, said the delegation, representing
more than 50 tourism companies, will be showcasing Australia to the European travel market at ITB from 7 to 11 March.
"As the world's largest travel industry event, ITB is a great opportunity to
present Australia as an exciting and authentic travel destination to the travel
industry as well as potential travellers in Europe," he said.
"Events such as ITB will help to drive continued growth in visitors from
Europe by providing a forum for Australian tourism operators to meet and
do business with key European buyers.
"This is the first year that Australia and New Zealand have joined forces at
ITB and this will help to capture greater interest from both trade and consumers attending the event.
"Many European travellers to Australia also visit New Zealand on their
holiday. By joining forces with operators from New Zealand we can build on
the interest of travellers wanting to visit one or both countries.
"The joint promotion follows a successful ATC advertising campaign in the
United States which promoted both Australia and New Zealand as holiday destinations."
Europe is Australia's second biggest source of visitors behind Asia, with 1.2
million visitors in 2002. However, performances across the European markets over the past year have been mixed with markets such as the UK,
Austria, Norway, Denmark and Belgium recording growth while visitor numbers from Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden have
Mr Boundy said the ATC has a number of campaigns planned for 2003 as
part of its strategy to build visitors from Europe.
"The ATC recently launched campaigns in the UK, Italy, France and
Germany to position Australia as the top of mind destination for European
travellers and to boost the number holiday bookings from these key
markets," Mr Boundy said.
"The campaigns aim to boost interest in Australia and at the same time break
consumer perceived barriers to travelling to Australia including time, distance and cost.
"ITB is also open to the general public which provides a unique opportunity
for potential travellers to meet with Australian tour operators."
ITB brings together more than 9,000 exhibitors from 180 different countries.
The event involves a trade show component for tour operators in Europe as
well as a public exhibition with thousands of consumers expected to visit
the Australia and New Zealand stand.
In 2002, ITB attracted a total of 123,000 attendees made up of 65,000 trade
visitors and 58,000 members of the general public. The ATC has led delegations to ITB for the past 24 years.