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Record Publicity in the UK for Australia expected with visit of Prince Harry and Rugby World Cup

Travel News Asia 23 September 2003

Publicity on Australia in the UK media is expected to reach the highest levels since the Sydney Olympic Games, with Prince Harry's visit and the upcoming Rugby World Cup, Australian Tourist Commission (ATC), Managing Director Ken Boundy said today.

"This week's arrival in Australia by Prince Harry will spark media attention in the UK which will continue with the Rugby World Cup 2003, helping to keep Australia top of mind for potential travellers," he said.

"We expect the British media will be keeping a close watch on the Prince's arrival and travels in Australia, including his attendance at the rugby tournament. The competition for the travelling dollar in this market is fierce and any additional coverage of our country helps to generate greater interest in travelling to Australia.

"The fact that Prince Harry is taking a 'GAP' year break in Australia prior to his university studies sends a strong message to one of our key tourism markets in the UK - the backpacker or youth traveller.

"The youth market accounts for around 25 per cent of all visitors from the UK and this visit helps to illustrate to these travellers that Australia is an ideal study and holiday destination.

"One of the great benefits of Prince Harry's visit to Australia is that he will be visiting regional Australia, helping to promote destinations beyond our gateway cities."

Mr Boundy said the UK press had already turned its attention to Australia with strong coverage over the past few weeks, due to the hosting of the Rugby World Cup 2003.

"With the English rugby team ranked as number one in the upcoming tournament, interest in Australia has been building in recent weeks and the ATC has been working with media across the UK to maximise the publicity for the country," he said. 

"Coverage of Australia is at the highest levels since the Olympic Games with feature articles and supplements appearing in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, The Sun, People, Metro, The Financial Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times as well as travel programs on the BBC over the last few weeks.

"The ATC will also be working with our trade partners and travel agents in the UK to ensure this additional publicity is translated into additional visitors in coming months."

Mr Boundy said the UK was one of the strongest performing markets for Australia despite recent world events, which have impacted global travel trends.

UK arrivals to Australia grew by one per cent in the seven months to July 2003 compared to the same time frame last year. This compares to overall arrivals to Australia which fell by seven per cent over the same period.

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