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 July 01, 2004
Australian Tourist Commission Becomes Tourism Australia

 Australia's Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey, has announced (July 1) the formation of Tourism Australia, to help further grow the tourism industry in Australia.

The new organisation will bring together the collective skills and knowledge of four separate marketing and research organisations responsible for marketing Australia as a tourist destination both internationally and domestically. This includes the Australian Tourist Commission, the country's domestic marketing body, See Australia, the Bureau of Tourism Research and Tourism Forecasting Council.

The Australian Tourist Commission's managing director, Mr Ken Boundy, will act in the role of head of the new organisation through its transition period.

"This is an exciting time for the Australian tourism industry, and the formation of this new body will create the platform to drive the success of tourism to our country into the future," said Mr Boundy. "Tourism is growing in importance as an economic driver in Australia and is particularly important for the country's regional development. The formation of Tourism Australia consolidates Australia's tourism marketing functions into one organisation and will introduce a framework that will allow our industry to grow and prosper.

"The result will be more streamlined marketing, a reduction in duplication of effort and increased return on investment for the Australian tourism industry. The ATC's activities in key tourism markets around the globe will continue within Tourism Australia.

"The Australian Government has continued its investment in tourism, with the allocation of additional funding of AUD$235 million over four and a half years to set up this new tourism marketing agency."

The funding boost for international marketing takes the Australian Government's total budget for this program to over AUD$500 million for the next four and a half years

The Australian inbound tourism industry employs more than 550,000 Australians, and generates AUD$17 billion per year in export earnings for the country.

Domestic tourism in Australia is worth more than AUD $52 billion a year, with more than half of this expenditure occurring in regional and rural Australia.