Overnight trips taken by domestic tourists increased by six per cent to 75.1 million for the year ending June 2012 and overnight expenditure grew nine per cent to AUD$50.8 billion.
Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, welcomed the impressive growth in domestic tourism throughout Australia highlighted in the release of the latest National Visitor Survey.
“Visitor nights and overnight trips are up for all states and territories, with Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory all experiencing growth of more than nine per cent for nights and trips,” Ferguson said.
“Expenditure by overnight visitors increased strongly in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, all experiencing increases above 15 per cent.
“Overnight trips for those visiting friends or relatives had the highest jump over the year ending June 2012, increasing by 13 per cent, while overnight business travel increased by seven per cent.
“These figures confirm the trend of recovery in domestic tourism post GFC with nights and expenditure increasing since mid 2011, particularly in visiting friends and relatives and business travel.
“Domestic tourism is the backbone of the industry accounting for three quarters of the AUD$35 billion tourism contributes to Australia’s GDP.
“It is very encouraging to see Australians recognising the immense travel opportunities that exist in their own backyard and supporting Australian businesses.”
The survey also found there was a strong increase in the use of free caravan and camping sites for overnight accommodation, with visitor nights rising by 16 per cent from the previous year.
Single night stays, longer trips of eight or more nights, multi-stopover trips and trips taken by older non-working tourists all increased by 10 per cent.
The majority of travellers used private vehicles for their overnight trips, with travel using this category of transport up nine per cent from last year.
“Domestic day travel also increased strongly over the year to June 2012, with the number of trips up by eight per cent,” Ferguson said.
“These are extremely positive results and show the importance of the domestic traveller market to Australia’s overall tourism industry.”