Two key reports released this week are excellent indicators that the tourism sector has a bright future, says the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.
“The reports released today – the December quarter national accounts and Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey – are good news for our industry, keeping in mind the biggest beneficiaries are capital cities,” he said.
“There are very encouraging signs that international visitors are seeking regional destinations.
“For example, visits to wineries are up 37 per cent.
“Dispersal of visitors to regions should be a priority for our Federal and State tourism agencies – in conjunction with industry – to ensure that all businesses benefit, regardless of location.
“The fact that services exports have risen by approximately 8 per cent over the past year, with tourism and education being particularly strong performers, is welcome,” he said.
The Tourism Research Australia survey reported growth of 18 per cent in international visitor expenditure during 2015, to a record high of $36.6 billion, an increase of $5.5 billion compared to 2015.
“The Prime Minister highlighted tourism in Question Time last week and it’s pleasing that he and the Treasurer recognise tourism as a key contributor to Australia’s economic growth,” Munro said.
“It is a highly sustainable industry which converts investment from the Federal Government in Tourism Australia into tangible outcomes for the broader economy.
“It’s among the reasons why consideration should be given to increasing funding for Tourism Australia in the upcoming Federal Budget,” he said.