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Tourism grew rapidly in the late 20th century, and it now represents one of the most dynamic sectors in the Australian economy, accounting for more than 500,000 jobs in the late 1990s. International tourism received a major boost from the highly successful Summer Olympic Games hosted in Sydney in 2000. Australia had 5.1 million visitors in 2006, and they spent $17.8 billion.

The strong growth in domestic tourism has tapped the expanding range of attractions in each state and territory—amusement and theme parks, zoos, art galleries and museums, certain mines and factories, national parks, historic sites, and wineries. Some of the most popular attractions are Queensland’s spectacular Great Barrier Reef, the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park, and the famous beach resorts in the Brisbane, Cairns, and Sydney regions.

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