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Clare Martin MORE TOURISTS AS NEW TRAIN SERVICE ROLLS INTO TERRITORY

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					                                                                       Clare Martin
                                                                     CHIEF MINISTER
                                                              MINISTER FOR TOURISM

                                                5 May 2005

MORE TOURISTS AS NEW TRAIN SERVICE ROLLS INTO TERRITORY
The arrival of first ‘additional’ service of The Ghan into Alice Springs today will boost, what the industry
is saying, will be a strong tourism season Chief Minister and Tourism Minister, Clare Martin, said.

“In its first year, The Ghan passenger service has helped drive economic growth and create local jobs -
this additional service will be an extra boost and help keep the Territory moving ahead,” she said.

The additional passenger train will see three weekly trains travel from Adelaide to Alice (up from the
current two) and two from Alice to Darwin (up from one per week) for May, June and July.

This will result in Great Southern Railway (GSR), the operators of The Ghan, offering 13 extra journeys
during our peak tourism season injecting, conservatively, well over $1 million directly into our economy.

Ms Martin said that the service would see up to 700 people arrive in and depart Darwin each week,
significantly up on last year.

“For the next three month up to 700 people can arrive in and depart Darwin compared to last year when
the most was just over 500 aboard a one-off extra long train,” she said.

“Importantly, ticket sales are strong and almost all 192 Gold Class tickets per train have already sold out.

“In just 14 months almost 80,000 people have travelled on The Ghan and the milestone mark of 100,000
people could be just months away.”

Ms Martin said the additional service will deliver significant benefits to local tourism related businesses
because passengers will no longer all arrive on the same day.

“People will have more flexibility to hop off the train somewhere in the Territory for a few days, explore
the area, and catch the next train.

“GSR, in partnership with my Government, has brought out a new Red Centre package encouraging these
stays in Alice Springs and the new vehicle loading ramp in Katherine will also offer additional choice.”

The Chief Minister said that her Government had allocated $28.4 million for marketing in this year’s, and
last year’s, budget and that tourism operators were gearing up for a strong tourism season with all
indications pointing to the best season for many years.

“From hire car operators to hotels, motels and caravan parks, the feedback is that the tourism season is
starting early and will be very strong,” she said.
“QANTAS has 750 more seats weekly on the Sydney-Darwin route during the 2005 peak season and
Virgin Blue will be offering daily services Sydney-Darwin over the next 3months.

“Significantly, the Territory Discoveries wholesale division has recorded a 17% increase in bookings
year-on-year for January 05 and 57% increase for February 05.”

Kev Downey of Avis reports:

"We've seen a significant increase in business over last year and the market is very strong - the season has
started very early and we look forward to a busy year ahead."

Andrew Langston of Crowne Plaza says:

"This year will be the strongest we have experienced for a number of years and our business is going from
strength to strength. The shoulder periods leading into the peak season are much stronger and we have
seen a marked increase in occupancy and average rates.”

With The Ghan, the Arafura Games and a rebounding travel market, this tourism season will help keep the
Territory moving ahead.

Contact: Craig Rowston 0401 119 777

				
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