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Visitor economy powerhouse surges to new high

December 28, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tourism is growing three times faster than the broader Australian economy, according to the latest ABS Tourism Satellite Account figures released yesterday. At the same time, data from the most recent National Visitor Survey shows more Australians are exploring their homeland.

The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) welcomed both developments.

“What better early Christmas present for the tourism sector than another round of strong figures showing that the industry continues to be the apple of the economy’s eye?” said TTF chief executive Margy Osmond.

The figures show that in 2015-16, the gross domestic product (GDP) from tourism increased 7.4% (or AUD 3.7 billion) in nominal terms, to reach a record of AUD 53 billion. In real terms, the increase was 6.1%. While the pace of growth was slightly softer then last year’s rate of 9%, it marks the second consecutive year that tourism growth has exceeded the national rate of economic growth.

“The latest National Visitor Survey shows that the nation’s visitor economy goes from strength to strength with more Australians choosing to explore the beauty and attractions of their island continent like never before,” Osmond said.

“In the 12 months to September we have recorded 89.4 million overnight trips and Australian domestic tourists have spent a whopping AUD 59.8 billion seeing their own country – that is up AUD 2.9 billion in just the past year.

“Considering that regional and rural Australia are big drawcards for domestic visitation, that is a real boost to regional economies right across the country, supporting thousands of jobs and economic activity.

“This result is a testament to the great work being done by our industry and the state-based tourism bodies with their campaigns to encourage more Australians to holiday at home.

“On top of that we have seen the latest Tourism Satellite Account figures that show the tourism sector has grown a rate of 7.4% in 2015-16 – that is more than three times the growth of the total Australian economy (2.3%).

“The visitor economy continues to be the shining beacon for the Australian economy and we simply cannot afford to stop investing in improving the visitor experience and marketing Australia as a destination of choice for both our people and millions of international visitors.

“I trust that after the Federal Government has increased taxes and charges on the tourism industry this year through the backpacker tax and the AUD 60 holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge on travellers that they will back the industry in 2017 with a positive growth agenda.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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