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Five Year Visitor Growth in Victoria More Than Double the National Average and Regional Victoria on the Rise

May 13, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Victoria’s appeal to international travellers continued to grow in 2013 with record numbers visiting Australia’s capital of cool and experiencing regional Victoria’s diversity of landscapes, nature and gourmet attractions.

International overnight visitors to Victoria increased by 10.3% to 1.96 million for the year ending December 2013, above the national average of visitors to Australia overall which increased by 5.6%.

In fact, over the five years from 2008 to 2013, international overnight visitors to Victoria have grown at an average annual rate of 6.1%, more than double the national average (+3.0% p.a.), and above growth for all other states and territories.

Spending by visitors has grown too with international visitor expenditure in Victoria increasing by 9.6% to $4.8 billion in the year ending December 2013, outperforming growth in expenditure to Australia as a whole (+4.6%).

In regional Victoria, though expenditure actually decreased (-10.5% to $306 million). Although visitation to Regional Victoria increased by 10% year-on-year to 346,000 and overnight stays also increased (+10.1% to 5.5 million).

This increased visitation to regional Victoria was reflected in both east (+11.7%) and west (+9.5%) markets indicating that international travellers from the eastern markets are becoming more independent and adventurous and that western markets are recovering from a dip in recent years.

Most of Victoria’s ten regions reflected a surge in numbers with double digit growth in visitor numbers experienced by the Murray, Gippsland, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula regions.

“We are delighted to see the numbers of international travellers to Melbourne and Victoria growing so significantly and in particular to see that those numbers are spreading out to some of our lesser known but equally compelling regions,” said Tourism Victoria’s General Manager of International Marketing and Airline Services, Melanie de Souza.

“Particularly gratifying is the increase in Holiday and Visiting Friends and Relatives segments – which are the focus of Tourism Victoria’s marketing efforts – which saw annual percentage growth in visitor numbers of 14.4% and 15.6% respectively. The strongest growth in visitor numbers was from China (+15.3%), UK (+15.1%), Singapore (+13.4%) and the USA (+12.5%).”

Visitor increases for China, Indonesia, New Zealand, UK and USA were all ahead of the national average, as were increases in most secondary markets. Expenditure increased for six of the key markets, with only India and Singapore experiencing declines.

Increased air access has been a critical factor in delivering record visitation to the state. In the year ending December 2013 air seat capacity into Melbourne increased by 705,890 seats (+7.4%).

“In the financial year July 2012 to June 2013, the Victorian Government conducted four Super Trade Missions to China, South East Asia, India and Middle East, building on business and strategic relationships across a range of trade, investment and export sectors. Tourism Victoria has leveraged these opportunities to engage in trade, consumer and media activity keeping the city and State top of mind amongst potential travellers,” said Ms de Souza.

“Victoria has maintained a balanced portfolio of markets over a consistent period of time and continues to leverage the trade and consumer marketing platforms of Tourism Australia with success.”

“Over the past year we have been an active partner in the Best Jobs in the Worldcampaign which focused on the critical youth and working holiday maker segment and with Melbourne’s reputation globally as a leading food and wine destination, Victoria will be in a prime position to benefit from Tourism Australia’s latest initiative, Restaurant Australia,” she said.

 “In addition to this, our partnerships with airlines and key travel distributors and a strong focus on public relations, digital and increasingly social media marketing are paying dividends.”

“The unique and differentiated brand positioning for Melbourne, Australia’s urban capital of cool, continues to be effectively communicated to a global audience via television broadcasts associated with our enviable calendar of sporting and cultural events and increasingly through broadcast initiatives in partnership with Tourism Australia such as the recent Running Man and Cook Man series which have wide appeal across Asia.”

“In the next twelve months Melbourne will host the Asian World Cup of Football, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final, as well as our usual flagship events the Australian Open Tennis Championships, the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix,” continued Ms de Souza.

”Events like White Night Melbourne, the record breaking Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces and now summer exhibitions like the recent blockbuster, Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, at Melbourne Museum, have cemented Melbourne’s credentials in the arts and culture sector.”

“Through the efforts of our global network of PR agencies, Melbourne’s reputation for cutting edge dining, its cafe culture, the best shopping in Australia and Victoria’s fantastic nearby gourmet regions, continue to gain media traction.”

“The city’s close proximity to a host of world-class natural attractions like the Great Ocean Road, Sovereign Hill and the Little Penguins at Phillip Island have enjoyed solid success with international markets. Meanwhile, regions such as Wilsons Promontory in Gippsland, and the stunning Murray region are also gaining increased traction.”

“On the supply side, prioritising the development of air access from key markets, enhanced infrastructure and a 32% increase in hotels, motels and serviced accommodation of more than 15 rooms over the last ten years, coupled with the strong support of the Government’s international marketing efforts by a maturing tourism industry have contributed to Victoria’s success,” said Ms de Souza.

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