Dec 15, 2017 Last Updated 4:28 PM, Dec 12, 2017

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Australian shopping empire Westfield sold to French property firm for $33 billion

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ASX introduces blockchain technology into trade settlement system

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Australia’s annual economic growth rate rises to 2.8%

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Tourism to overtake coal as biggest export

AusBN – The value of Australia’s non-mining and non-farming exports has increased by 7% in the last year, according to research from Barclays.

Tourism is leading the way, buoyed by the depreciation of the Australian dollar making Australia a cheaper destination for visitors from Asia, the US and Europe.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the value of inbound tourism in May this year was 11% higher than last year.

Total tourism-related income for the 12 months up to May came to about $17 billion – just ahead of coal at $16.5 million.

Coal and the rest of the mining sector has been hit hard by not only the depreciation of the dollar, but also by low commodity prices.

If this trend continues tourism could overtake coal permanently as Australia’s second most valuable export – and perhaps even take the top spot from iron ore.

@AusBNonline

Thai group building hotel in Darwin

AusBN – Thailand’s Minor Hotel Group is building a new hotel development in Darwin, boosting its existing presence in Australia.

The group currently owns 50 Oaks Group hotels and resorts, as well as the planned AVANI development in Perth.

Minor Hotel Group CEO Dillip Rajakarier told AAP: “We’ve always looked at Perth and Darwin because they are gateways, especially for us from Thailand and mainly for the Asian customer or guests.”

He added that the Darwin hotel was intended to capitalise on government, leisure and tourism travel.

Construction of the 250-room AVANI hotel in Perth is scheduled to begin in late 2016, and to open in late 2017.

@AusBNonline

Qantas expands New Zealand flights

AusBN – Australia’s largest airline Qantas Airways has announced that it will be expanding its flights within New Zealand.

At least four new destinations will be added to the five New Zealand cities it already serves with flights starting in December of this year.

The airline is hoping to increase its competition with Air New Zealand, which currently enjoys a monopoly on many routes.

Currently the airline flies to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown with new destinations due to be announced.

@AusBNOnline

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