Blue skies for the tourism industry as domestic tourism soars

Federal Government data released yesterday shows domestic tourism is up 6% in its strongest 12 months since before the global financial crisis.

The Department of Tourism, Energy and Resources’ National Visitor Survey recorded 75.1 million overnight trips taken in Australia by Australian residents, an increase of 6% on the same time last year.

Australians spent $51 billion, which is 9% more than the previous year.

The survey found Australians spent 284 million nights away from home, 7% higher than the number recorded from the equivalent period in 2011.

Of these trips the survey found two-thirds of visitors travelled within their state or territory of residence, with the remaining 32% travelling interstate.

Day trips were also up, with 168.8 million day trips taken in Australia by Australian residents, a figure that is 8% higher than the equivalent period in 2011.

The positive figures follow the Tourism and Transport Forum’s MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey published last week which showed sentiment was up amongst tourism operators.

The survey found operators believe conditions will improve in the current quarter, with expectations for domestic tourism up 10 points and international up four points, although performance was expected to remain below average for this time of year.

Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, said the domestic tourism figures are strong and confirm the recent positive growth trend within the domestic tourism industry, evidenced by an “impressive” five consecutive quarters of growth.

“Even allowing for the Easter effect, to see holiday spend grow by more than 9% in the quarter is a pleasing result,” he says.

Looking at the full-year results, McEvoy says all purposes of travel saw gains, which he says demonstrates “a growing all-round robustness” within the domestic visitor economy.

“These are just the sort of figures we need from domestic tourism if we are to achieve our Tourism 2020 industry goal of doubling overnight expenditure to up to $140 billion by the end of this decade.”



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