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Excellent response to ATE16

This year's annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) took place on the Gold Coast last week to rigorous praise from all those who attended.

Delegates were particularly fond of the warm environment at the conference, which was mirrored in the excellent weather during the event.

This year marked the 37th ATE and it was an important one, as this was the first time that it had been held in Queensland and there was much expectation ahead of it.

Overall, more than 2,300 travel industry delegates joined for this business-to-business get together, in order to help build future tourism opportunities in Australia.

At the event itself, as many as 30 countries were represented from Asia, the Americas, Continental Europe and the UK. The travel sellers from these places met with 1,500 Australian tourism delegates to do business together.

John O'Sullivan said that hosting the event on the Gold Coast would do a lot towards boosting Australia's inbound tourism sector.

Currently, international visitor arrivals to the country are reaching record highs, with 7.4 million people coming into the country in the last year alone. Similarly, tourist spending has been on the increase too, showing a rise of 18 per cent to $36.6 billion (£17.9 billion).

Mr O'Sullivan added that thanks to the location of ATE16, there has been a lot of interest generated and there was a significant increase in the amount of Australian travel businesses that participated in the event.

In fact, there were more business from the hosting country at this year's event than over the previous eight years.

Regarding first time attendees, there were 98 new buyers who came to the Gold Coast from nine different markets.

It's expected that due to the high level of attendance and the praise that the ATE16 received, Australia's tourism industry will benefit greatly over the coming year from new and reaffirmed partnerships.

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