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New Forecasts indicate Australian Tourism Turnaround Expected to Continue

Travel News Asia 14 December 2004

New tourism forecasts issued today by the Australian Tourism Forecasting Committee show that tourism in Australia has turned a corner with the return to strong growth in international tourist arrivals to Australia in 2004 expected to continue over the coming years.

The turnaround comes after three consecutive years of flat performance for inbound tourism due to terrorism, SARS, and world economic uncertainty.

The new Tourism Forecasting Committee forecasts provide an outlook across all tourism sectors including domestic, international and outbound tourism for 2004 to 2013, to assist in investment and marketing decision making for the sector and to assist in the formulation of public policy within the Australian tourism sector at both national and regional levels.

Chairman of the Tourism Forecasting Committee, Bernard Salt said international visitor arrivals were expected to grow by 10.5 per cent in 2004 to 5.2 million arrivals, providing a significant boost to Australias tourism export earnings.

Tourism to Australia has sustained consistent strong growth throughout this year and this is expected to result in a record number of overseas visitors, Mr Salt said.

Beyond 2004, overseas visitor arrivals are expected to increase by an average annual rate of 5.7 per cent over the forecast period to 8.6 million visitors in 2013.

Direct tourism export earnings are forecast to grow by 2.7 percent to $17.7 billion in 2004. Over the forecast period to 2013, direct tourism exports are forecast to increase by an average annual rate of 5.2 per cent to $27.9 billion in 2013.

Mr Salt said despite the strong outlook for inbound tourism, the domestic tourism sector was expected to remain flat for 2004.

Domestic activity remains relatively flat, which can be attributed to increased competition from the retail sector for consumer spending and favourable conditions for outbound travel with competitive deals and a strong Australian dollar, Mr Salt said.

Domestic visitor nights are expected to continue to record marginal growth in 2004, with a forecast increase of 1.3 per cent to 298 million visitor nights.

The longer term outlook for the forecast period to 2013 is that domestic visitor nights are forecast to increase by an average annual growth rate of one per cent to 326 million visitor nights in 2013.

The level of outbound travel in 2004 is expected to increase to around 4.3 million resident departures. Over the forecast period to 2013, outbound activity is forecast to increase by an average annual growth of 4 percent.

See other recent news from: Australia

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