Tourism

How Tasmania shone in new tourism stats

Lauren Croft

We’re super lucky to live in Australia (just look at the pictures). And it appears the whole world is jealous – enough to come visit all the time.

New results in both the National Visitors Survey, released this week, as well as the International Visitor Survey, show that Australia’s booming tourism market has absolutely no intention of slowing down.

The results show visitor numbers have increased by 17 per cent in the last three years.

To be fair, we are home to the most liveable city on the planet, as well as some epic and diverse landscapes.

Fog rolling over Melbourne CBD.

As well as the rest of the world being privy to what a great holiday destination Australia makes, Aussies are staring to give up faraway overseas trips in favour of holidays around their home country.

Aussies have spent over $60 billion travelling around Australia, from family holidays up at the Great Barrier Reef to old-school outback road trips (making sure you have enough gas and water, obviously).

According to Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan, domestic travel is a critical factor of the success.

“It’s great so see so many Australians holidaying at home and, off the back of equally strong international figures released two weeks ago, there are plenty of reasons for our industry to celebrate,” he said.

Australian Chamber of Tourism Executive Chair John Hart also said the National Visitor Survey results were a step towards an even stronger economy as a result of tourism in Australia.

“We are pleased Australians are choosing to holiday in Australia. Be it a beach holiday, a trip to the snow or a weekend drive up to a local winery, Australians have long known just how great our regions are to visit.

“Now we need more international visitors to visit regional Australia and spread the local economic benefits tourism provides,” he said.

Picturesque wine valley in Barossa, South Australia. Color-toning effect appplied

This report follows the international stats released two weeks ago and found that international visitors spent just over $40 billion in the same period of time. Basically, no one loves Australia more than Australians.

Combined, overnight tourist spending reached a record high of $103.2 billion, with nearly all states and territories reaping the benefits and experiencing growth.

Tasmania experienced the highest growth in overnight visits at 16 per cent, and visitor spending was up 30 per cent to $2.4 billion. It’s about time Wineglass Bay and the giant lavender fields were appreciated, if you ask us.

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, south eastern Tasmania. Olympus E500 DSLR.

Apart from Australia’s natural beauty, the huge tourism growth has been largely due to a record amount of Government funding for Tourism Australia plus investment in tourism infrastructure.

However, Hart said more international visitors – and Government support – are needed in regional areas of Australia.

‘‘What we haven’t seen is the benefits in international visitors getting to see our regions. We need Governments to step up to the plate and invest more in regional infrastructure to help more international tourists to visit our regions and address the imbalance.

“For example, the National Visitor Survey and the International Visitor Survey released two weeks ago shows that in New South Wales, 51 per cent of tourism spend in Sydney comes from international visitors, but in regional New South Wales 93 per cent of tourism spend comes from domestic visitors.

“Improved infrastructure and access to our regions will make significant progress towards increasing the number of international visitors to the regions, as well as the overall number of visitors,” he said.

But with plenty of jobs being created and supported, and plenty more of Australia for both international and Australian tourists to explore, the tourism boom will only keep growing – both in regional Australia and its cities.

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