Tourism hits new records

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Tourism hits new records

Despite the amazing natural wonders of Western Australia, the state closest to Asia is struggling to draw visitors and as a result has seen spending by tourists drop by AU$60 million in the year to September, according to figures released by Tourism Australia yesterday.

Overall, the results from Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey show continuing growth with further record international arrivals, visitor nights and spending figures.

The report revealed that spending reached a new high of $34.8 billion, an increase of 13 per cent or $4.1 billion over the year, which is the strongest growth seen since 2001. International visitor arrivals increased 7 per cent to 6.7 million while nights were up 10 per cent, reaching 242 million during the year ending September 2015.

The Government’s efforts to boost flight capacity, visa reforms and focused international marketing are increasing Australia’s appeal in the growing global tourism market, noted Minister for Tourism and International Education, (and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment) Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck.

“We have also made tourism infrastructure one of five National Investment Priorities, backing the growth of a key industry which supports around a million jobs,” noted the minister adding, “Australia’s strong international education sector is clearly having a positive impact on our tourism industry; with every international student in Australia attracting visits from friends and family.” Minister for Tourism and International Education Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck.

The figures show that visiting Australia for the purposes of education is supporting strong growth, with visitation up 19 per cent and nights up 18 per cent. Total trip spend for education visitors increased by 27 per cent for the year to $8.2 billion, which drove 43 per cent of the overall increase.

With approximately 600,000 international students currently enrolled onshore, and growing, that adds up to a significant contribution, noted Senator Colbeck.

The figures show growth in spending spread across the following visitor categories:

  • Education visitor spending: up 27 per cent to $8.2 billion
  • Employment visitor spending: up 26 per cent to $2.8 billion
  • Visiting friends and relatives spending: up 14 per cent to $5.8 billion
  • Holiday visitor spending: up 7 per cent to $13.2 billion

China continues to lead the growth with huge increases; visitor numbers are up 22 per cent to 896,000, nights up 25 per cent to 39.3 million and spend up a huge 43 per cent to $7.7 billion.

There was record spending by visitors from 10 of Australia’s top-20 markets: New Zealand, China, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, France and Switzerland.

Revenue from Tourism showed massive increases with Victoria leading the charge (up 28 per cent), Tasmania (up 24.4 per cent) and New South Wales (15.6 per cent). Western Australia saw a 2.6% increase. Calls are now being made for the Western Australian state government to do much more for tourism.

“The Barnett government has not matched huge increases in destination marketing by Queensland, NSW and Victoria and now those states are all achieving massive growth in international tourism while our numbers collapse,” Opposition (Labor) tourism spokesman Paul Papalia said. “Even Tasmania is embarrassing us.”

Source: Migration Alliance

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