MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 24) - The Australian tourism industry is predicting further lean times, despite the release of new figures indicating a turnaround.

Inbound and outbound tourism has risen for the first time in nearly two years.

New figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of overseas visitors to Australia in November last year rose by 16 per cent. However the Managing Director of the Australian Tourist Commission, Ken Boundy, has forecast another flat year for the struggling industry.

"Despite the fact that there was a strong month of November, Australian inbound tourism has been flat for the last two years and this is likely to continue well into the current calender year," he said.

Meanwhile, more Australians traveled overseas in the wake of the Bali bombings. Outbound tourism grew by ten per cent with most people traveling to locations close to home, such as Fiji, New Zealand, Vietnam and China.

January 24, 2003

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