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Media Release
The Hon Joe Hockey, MP (Minister 2001-2004)

25 March 2002

IAN THORPE - AUSTRALIA'S FIRST HOLIDAY AMBASSADOR IN JAPAN

Ian Thorpe has been appointed as Australian Holiday Ambassador in Japan, which will see him endorse Australia as the world’s best holiday destination.

Ian will be the face of Australia in Japan fronting tourism campaigns and providing endorsements for our country as a holiday destination.

As an Australian swimming star and celebrity in Japan, Ian is the ideal person to raise the profile of Australia and help boost the number of Japanese holidaying down under.

In fact, Ian’s profile in Japan is enormous - the highest of any Australian. His gold medal swims and friendly nature have seen him reach celebrity status in Japan.

Ian’s profile will continue to boom in coming months with the upcoming Pan Pacific Games in Japan where his ‘Japanese fan club’ is expected to double in size.

Ian has offered his services to promote Australia in Japan free of charge – and we have taken up this great opportunity.

Ian will feature in Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) initiatives including newspaper ads, holiday publications and on the ATC’s website, www.australia.com. He will also participate in publicity events in Japan promoting Australia as a holiday destination.

Destinations from across the globe all compete for a greater share of the Japanese travelling dollar and Thorpie’s support will provide us with an edge over our competitors.

Ian has achieved gold in the pool and I have no doubt he will achieve gold for Australian tourism.

Congratulations to Ian as Australia’s first holiday ambassador in Japan and we thank him for supporting Australia’s tourism industry.

Japan is Australia’s second largest tourism market with over 681,000 visitors spending over $2.3 billion each year.

Media note: copies of newspaper advertisements are available on request

25 March 2002

Media inquiries: Matthew Abbott, ph: 0408 974 349.