Australia still in the doldrums(1)

SYDNEY - A further decline in inbound tourists to Australia has been termed a "wake-up call" for state governments and the private sector. The message was delivered by Christopher Brown, managing director of lobby group, Tourism and Transport Forum, on the release of figures showing inbound arrivals for August 2006 were down 4.3 percent – or 18,600 people - compared to the same month in 2005. The biggest declines were from New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States. Improved figures were recorded for visitors from India, China and Indonesia. Outbound departures from Australia increased 2.1 percent in August compared with the same month last year. Brown blamed New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory for holding the industry back by not making appropriate investments in the tourism sector.

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