The latest results from the National Visitor Survey have shown domestic overnight trips grew to a record 79.1 million, with tourism spend reaching a record high of AUD $53.3 billion, representing a four percent growth for the year ending June 2014.
According to the quarterly survey, conducted by Tourism Research, visiting friends and relatives were the driving force in the expenditure growth, contributing AUD $12.1 billion, up seven percent, with trips increasing by 8 percent to 28.1 million and surpassing the previous record of 27.6 million in 2004.
Overnight business travel also recorded good growth with the number of trips reaching 41.9 million, up five percent, number of nights increasing by eight percent to 49.4 million and expenditure at AUD $12.3 billion, up six percent.
“This is a great result for the Australian domestic tourism industry and on the back of record tourism exports of over AUD $30 billion, we now have a total overnight spend at a new high of over AUD $30 billion,” Tourism Research Australia manager strategic research and analysis Tim Quinn said.
However, Mr Quinn stresses the need to be mindful of lost opportunities moving forward.
“While the domestic tourism sector is the industry’s bread and butter, responsible for three-quarters of tourism’s AUD $42 billion contribution to the economy, Australians’ preference for holiday continues.”
Although domestic tourism expenditure remained steady at AUD $27 billion, domestic holidays grew by only two percent, with nights falling by two percent, while overseas holiday travel grew by eight percent, reaching 5.4 million.
“While growth in overseas holidays remains solid, assisted by a stubborn Australian dollar, this is expected to moderate with some switching of demand toward domestic holiday travel.
“With AUD $50 billion in the tourism investment pipeline, the Australian tourism industry has much to look forward to as it is likely growth in overnight tourism spend will continue toward the goal of $140 billion.”
– ETB News