Senator Richard Colbeck Australian Tourism Minister

Australia’s Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, says the latest national tourism figures, released today (Dec 16), show Australians are choosing to spend their money on word-class holidays in their home country over what can be an expensive overseas trip.

Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey has found domestic overnight visitor spending reached a record AUD$56.9 billion in the year ending September 2015, an increase of 6 per cent.

The survey also showed domestic day-trip spending grew 8 per cent to AUD$19.1 billion.

“The Government is committed to ensuring tourists go into our regions and these figures are especially good news for regional Australia, where 67 per cent of domestic overnight stays and 61 per cent of domestic day trips occurred,” Colbeck said.

“These results affirm the strength and depth of the Australian tourism offering, not just in our cities but in regional areas too.

“The national results follow the recent strong results for international visitor spending, which reached a new high of AUD$34.8 billion over the same period, and confirm the industry is on track to reach its growth targets under the Government’s Tourism 2020 strategy.

“Tourism operators across Australia are benefiting from the Government’s pro-growth policies, including measures to reduce red tape and making tourism one of five National Investment Priorities to build new infrastructure.

“We have also increased flight capacity and streamlined visa arrangements, allowing a greater flow of visitors from key international markets.

“The lower Australian dollar is also helping to make Australia an attractive choice for both international and domestic visitors.

“We are seeing record growth figures in tourism, however there is more to be done in the areas of international aviation capacity, labour and skills shortages, infrastructure and visa reform to reach our potential and meet the predicted demand.

“The total number of domestic overnight trips taken by Australian residents reached 85.3 million during the year, an increase of 7 per cent, while visitor nights increased five per cent to a record 318 million.

“Australians took 34.1 million domestic overnight holiday trips on which they spent a new high of AUD$27.8 billion, an increase of 5 per cent.

“Domestic tourism accounts for more than half of all overnight tourism spending in Australia and 69 per cent of tourism spending overall, including daytrips,” Colbeck said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management