The world spotlight is on Australia

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games might be nine months away, but if you’re planning on heading down under, it’s time to book. After a bang-up New Year’s, the world spotlight is locked on Australia. Australian Tourist Commission Managing Director John Morse could be accused of a bit of hyperbole, but he’s not far off the mark.

Four billion people will have their eyes on Sydney for the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games next fall,” he says.. “But the spotlight is already on us and every Australian is playing a role in ensuring we reap the long term tourism benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Translation: if you want to go Australia this year, start planning your trip today. Speaking from New York where he was meeting with Olympic sponsors, travel operators and international media, Mr. Morse said ATC research showed Australians have long recognized the tourism potential of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

“Official forecasts estimate an additional 1.6 million international visitors will come to Australia between 1998 and 2004 as a direct and indirect result of the Olympic Games, he says. And those visitors will spend around $6.1 billion in the Austrian economy.

Mr. Morse said the ATC has already recorded a significant increase in both international media inquiries and visits to its media and consumer web sites. “The interest in Australia is already at an all time high and its only going to get higher,” he says.