Events are the money-makers, and the three levels of government are finally paying attention.
At least that’s the sentiments of Tourism Accommodation Australia, who says the emphasis lended by the Federal, State and Local governments on creating and attracting events is paying off.
The latest National Visitor Survey stats to come out of the top secret labs of Tourism Research Australia saw domestic tourism soar to new heights, with overnight domestic trips bumping up 7% in 2014, hitting 81.4 million.
Total visitor nights increased to 9% to 309 million, while domestic overnight spend recorded 6% growth to smash records and reach $54.4 billion.
Acting CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, Carol Giuseppi, said the figures shone a spotlight on how important events, festivals, and the overnight trips that come with it are for tourism.
“It is very encouraging that Federal, State and regional authorities are investing in creating, encouraging and attracting major events and festivals,” Giuseppi said.
“This is particularly important in regional Australia, where some areas have had to address reductions in mining and manufacturing. Investing in tourism infrastructure and marketing can produce significant long-term returns that have multiplier effects for the whole economy.”
Giuseppi added that while the overall NVS figures were very encouraging, a fall of 1% in domestic overnight holiday travel was concerning, especially when contrasted against a 6% increase in overseas holidays in 2014.
“The fall in the Australian dollar is still to have a major impact on Australian domestic tourism, according to the NVS statistics, but with a corresponding fall in fuel prices, the prospects for domestic holiday growth in 2015 and beyond are the best in many years,” she said.
“Australian destinations now need to ensure they have the attractions, events and facilities to attract holiday travellers who have had considerable exposure to international destinations over the past decade and will be looking for quality, value-oriented holiday options within Australia.
“Fortunately, Australia is undergoing its most significant hotel development phase in almost 20 years, and travellers will be able to experience new product covering all accommodation styles and budgets.”