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Outback tourism defies the odds

Monday, 23rd March, 2009

On the eve of the biggest event on the Outback NSW tourism calendar, the state government has released statistics showing a huge increase in visitors to the area. Outback NSW has defied the national trend by producing a 10 per cent increase in domestic overnight visitors for 2008, compared to a national fall of 4.5 per cent. The industry now attracts 635,000 people a year to the Outback. Despite the economic downturn, Outback also increased its international visitor numbers by 2.8 per cent, while the national trend indicated an overall fall of 0.6 per cent.

"This is a great achievement for the Outback, as we are one of only four areas in NSW that have had an increase in the last year," said Executive Manager of Outback NSW Tourism Lori Modde. "The past few years we have worked really hard on our partnerships and strived to have one voice for the area instead of a lot of different languages in the market place." Ms Modde said it was fitting that this year's symposium, which starts in Wentworth today, has the theme of Partnerships in Tourism.

The two-day symposium brings together 13 tourism professionals from all around the country, plus Outback tourism operators and councils. The statistics reveal that the tourism industry in Outback NSW was worth $215 million for the year."This year's symposium will help our tourism colleagues to develop their own businesses to benefit from the increased exposure the area is now receiving, and working with their partners (councils, associations and colleagues) to do so," said Ms Modde.

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