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Australia celebrates record international visitor spending
International tourists are staying longer and spending more when they visit Australia, and venturing out of the capital cities while they’re here, according to the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS).
Tourism Research Australia’s newly released IVS reveals that international visitors spent a record $39.8 billion during the 262 million nights they stayed in Australia in the year ending March 2017- representing increases of 5% on the year before.
Regional Australia saw a 29% increase in both international tourists and spending over the last three years.
Asian markets recorded the fastest growth in spend for the year, with six key markets showing double-digit growth: Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand. The United States is also driving growth, with U.S. visitors spending $3.6 billion last year, a 64% increase since 2012.
The survey revealed a record high the Whitsundays, international visitors spending $214.9 million over 12 months, up almost 7% from last year. Total visitation to the region increased 10% to 243,000 visitors.
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Craig Turner said the figures were welcome news for the region, stating “tourism numbers are important of course but it’s their expenditure while here that really gives a boost to the industry and, indeed, the whole community.
“One in four jobs in the Whitsundays is in tourism, plus there are all the other industries that exist because of tourism - the marine industry for example - so a record figure such as this is great news for everyone.”
The Sunshine Coast also enjoyed the international visitor boost, attracting 288,000 international visitors, a 12% increase on last year.
Visit Sunshine Coast Chief Executive Simon Latchford said the unprecedented growth and number of international tourists arriving was showing no sign of slowing down, commenting “I think the tourism industry has had a tough couple of years where the downward turn in the economic cycle has impacted the region and this is now turning around to show positive increases and it has really been a combination of many factors aligning including a favourable Aussie dollar which has seen record international numbers for Australia, Queensland and a positive flow on effect for the Sunshine Coast.”.
The region saw large increases from European markets, with the Scandinavian market growing 43% and Germany increasing by 15%. Extensive promotion in America saw the U.S. market to the Sunshine Coast grow 12% year on year.
The Tourism and Transport Forum has welcomed the new figures, with Chief Executive Margy Osmond saying there is no questions that “tourism is Australia’s next super-growth sector”.
However, Osmond cautioned that survey highlights “the need for state and federal governments to realise the full potential of the tourism sector and stop treating it as a cash cow.
“While these are great numbers we need to be thinking about the potential for them to be even better by supporting our tourism sector rather than jeopardising future growth by slugging visitors with increased charges, such as the recent visa increase.
“We simply cannot keep increasing the taxes and charges on travelling to Australia and believe that it will not have any impact on the number of visitors coming to our country. Every extra dollar on the cost of travel is a disincentive to visit Australia.”
The International Visitor Survey is available on the Tourism Research Australia website at www.tra.gov.au
Images: Sunrise over the Sunshine Coast's Glasshouse Mountains (top), an outback roadsign (middle) and Whitehaven Beach being restored after cyclone damage in March (below).
11th May 2017 - WHITEHAVEN BEACH REOPENS AFTER RESTORATION AND CLEAN-UP
26th April 2017 - LOCAL COUNCILS MAKE BIG INVESTMENTS IN TOURISM
30th March 2017 - SUNSHINE COAST LEADS QUEENSLAND’S TOURISM GROWTH IN 2016
29th March 2017 - QUEENSLAND TOURISM INDUSTRY RALLIES FOLLOWING CYCLONE DEBBIE
15th March 2017 - ASIAN MARKETS DRIVE SURGE IN AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL VISITOR ARRIVALS
2nd February 2017 - ATEC FLAGS TOURISM AS AUSTRALIA’S BEST EXPORT ASSET
16th January 2017 - PERCEPTION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY BOOST AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL TOURISM GROWTH
8th December 2016 - AUSTRALIA’S TOURISM EXPORT GROWTH CONTINUES AS MARKETS SHIFT
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