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Over 2,000 delegates arrive for Australian Tourism Exchange

For the first time in 37 years, Tourism Australia's annual business-to-business event for building the future of tourism in the country, the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), is taking place in the Gold Coast this week.

A huge event, it will see more than 2,300 travel industry delegates come from more than 30 countries.

These people include travel wholesalers and retailers from Asia, America, continental Europe and the United Kingdom, who will be meeting and doing business with 1,500 Australian tourism seller delegates from more than 500 companies.

Tourism Australia is working with its host-state partner Tourism and Events Queensland and it will be supported by Gold Coast tourism and airline partners Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways.

All of them will be working closely in order to successfully deliver the ATE 2016 that's going to be attended by so many.

It's expected that the event will be helping to further Australia's inbound tourism sector, which witnessed record international visitor numbers at 7.4 million from 2015. The visitor spend also rose by 18 per cent to $36.6 billion last year alone.

John O'Sullivan, Tourism Australia managing director, said: "ATE enables Australian tourism businesses to increase their exposure to the international travel businesses responsible for putting Australian holidays in the hands of consumers in our key overseas markets."

He added that tourism in Australia has been going from "strength to strength" and he hopes that by hosting the ATE16 on the Gold Coast, it will generate further demand for the country's unique tourism experiences.

Excitement is high for this event, considering it's the first time that it's been held in Australia's Gold Coast and those attending include the highest turnout of Aussie travel businesses for the last eight years.

There can be as many as 50,000 business appointments held during the ATE, which means there are huge opportunities to build new business relationships and solidify current partnerships at this international trade event.

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