15 August 2001
SYDNEY - New forecasts released today indicate slower growth in international visitors to Australia this year with a 4.5 per cent growth in arrivals expected for 2001, said Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) managing director, Ken Boundy.
"At the beginning of the year, international visitor arrivals were forecast to grow by around eight per cent, however, today's figures indicate that growth in inbound arrivals has slowed, and will reach 4.5 per cent.
"The softer growth is a direct result of the shift in global economic conditions since late 2000, particularly in the US and weaker conditions in Japan which impacts on consumer confidence and their propensity to travel abroad, particularly to long haul destinations.
Boundy said the forecasts indicate slower growth in several key tourism markets including the US, Japan and New Zealand in the short term, with improved growth forecasts in the medium to long term.
"The forecasts indicate mixed forecasts for visitor arrivals from Asia reflecting the differing economic difficulties across the region. Overall visitor arrivals from the region are expected to grow by 7.1 per cent this year to reach over 1.3 million visitors," he said.