Online tourist strategy gets Olympic kick

The Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony sparked a massive influx to Australian travel sites, with ATC's site experiencing a 1000 per cent hit increase during the ceremony compared with figures from the same day last year.

The Commission was expecting a "major" increase in visitors to the site. "To handle this increase in traffic, a mirror website has been set up in the US where the majority of these cyber-visitors are expected to flock from," officials said.

According to the Federal minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly: "There is no doubt that the images of Australia captured in the opening ceremony have sparked worldwide consumer interest in our country."

To maximise this exposure, the government has developed a new online strategy, Tourism Dotcom, to promote tourism after the Olympics.

More than $2 million has been invested by the Federal government for the initiative which aims to have all information relating to Australian tourism online by the end of 2001.

Presently only 15 per cent of Australian accommodation providers, cafes and restaurants use the internet. Tourism Dotcom is designed to accelerate the adoption of new technology by the tourism industry to prepare for the expected overseas interest in Australia following the Games.

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