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Australia's tourism market continues to go from strength to strength in 2005 as international arrivals into Australia reached an all-time record in 2004. Australia's Minister for Tourism, Ms. Fran Bailey, said that an estimated 5.2 million visitors were recorded for 2004. Ms. Bailey said that the year 2004 would be noted as the year that tourism turned around. -We have been waiting for this news for three years. "It is the first time since 2000 that we have recorded growth in international arrivals, and to do it with a leap into double digits is confirmation that Australia's policy direction is absolutely on the right track," she said. -We can now put to rest the challenges experienced by the industry since 11 September 2001. -By any measure, 2004 has been a good year for tourism, and the estimated increase of 5.5 per cent for December now marks the 16th consecutive month of growth in international arrivals. "We can now look forward even more confidently to 2005 and beyond," Ms. Bailey said. The latest tourism forecasts predicted growth of 5.9 per cent for 2005, with long-term forecasts to 2013 showing 5.7 per cent average annual growth. The December 2004 estimates show that China continued to represent Australia's major growth market in 2004, with a total increase of 42.2 per cent. This was followed by New Zealand at 22.8 per cent, and Japan, which recorded growth of 12.9 per cent. All major inbound markets, with the exception of Indonesia, recorded increased arrivals in 2004. "Continuing to roll out the Government's Tourism White Paper, while developing new, targeted policies will ensure tourism continues to go from strength to strength in 2005," Ms. Bailey said. The Australian Tourist Commission would coordinate sales missions to India, Korea and China in 2005. Currently, the mission program is tentatively scheduled. However, the India Travel Mission is scheduled for 15 - 19 September, the Korea Travel Mission is scheduled for 27 - 28 October, and the 9th Australian Travel Mission to China will be held from 31 October - 3 November. The missions will allow Australian tourism industry suppliers to meet with key travel agents and tour operators who sell Australia in one-on-one appointment sessions. Canberra 25 January 2005.