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Technology

 May 26, 2000
WWW.Australia.Com Gearing Up For Olympic Internet Explosion

 Australia's premier international web site, australia.com, is readying for a virtual tidal wave of cyber surfers during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The Australian Tourist Commission's Managing Director John Morse said the Commission's global web site, australia.com, would be one of Australia's most visited sites during the Games period.

"Looking at traffic to major sites during big events such as Wimbledon, the Oscars and the Superbowl, as well as the inundation australia.com received on New Years Eve, we estimate our site will deliver around seven million pages to users around the world during the 20 day Olympic period," he said.

"With additional traffic being driven through our links to the NBC and SOCOG sites we estimate we will experience a 1350 per cent increase on traffic recorded over the same period in 1999. And at peak times, such as during the Opening Ceremony, we estimate we'll be delivering nearly 45,000 pages an hour to a global audience.

"With the massive increase in Internet usage in recent years, and the simplicity of our web address, we believe traffic to australia.com will be around 1000 per cent more than the Japan National Tourist Office received during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games."

Mr Morse said the ATC's eBusiness and consumer marketing teams were preparing its systems for the massive increase in traffic.

"We're building mirror sites in the US to ensure that our infrastructure can withstand the onslaught," he said. "It's a challenge, but a very welcome one. The Internet is rapidly becoming the most important tool in world-wide tourism marketing and promotion.

"Through the Internet consumers can access up to the minute, detailed information on any place in the world they may wish to visit. Gone are the days when you relied solely on the knowledge and resources of your local travel agent to help you decide where to take your next holiday.

"The Australian tourism industry is one of the most technologically proactive in the world. Internet technologies will be our biggest tool in converting the massive Olympic publicity into tourism business for Australia."

Mr Morse said technology would be a major theme of the nation's largest export event, the Australian Tourism Exchange, being held next week in Sydney.