Australia’s tourism boom

By: Randall Johnston

Impressive international and domestic travel figures should help boost tourism-related jobs

Visitor numbers rose in each state last year compared to 2014, which should be a good sign for tourism-related jobs if the trend continues.

Tourism Research Australia’s national and international visitor surveys also revealed a significant increase in the average nightly visitor spend, upon its release recently.

The most telling figures include an 8 per cent increase in total visitors to Australia and an 18 per cent increase in expenditure by tourists.

Tasmania recorded the largest increase in international visitors with an impressive 20 per cent leap, followed by South Australia (SA) with 14 per cent, and a 10 per cent jump in Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

"Every new dollar spent in our state supports the 38,000 direct and indirect jobs linked to tourism, and it encourages confidence to invest in new ventures and create new jobs," Tasmanian premier and minister for tourism Will Hodgman says.

"It is clear that our increased investment in marketing and our targeted campaigns are working.

"I congratulate and thank our dedicated tourism operators too, their hard work and originality has created experiences that are unrivalled."

SA tourism minister Leon Bignell is confident the state can achieve an $8 billion tourism industry by 2020.

"In this year’s budget we invested $35 million to promote South Australia and secure new major events and conferences in order to create thousands of tourism-related jobs," he says.

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr says he has worked tirelessly to attract more visitors to the Australian capital.

"With direct international flights to Singapore and Wellington commencing in September, I look forward to watching our visitor numbers continue to grow," he says.

"The ACT tourism industry is working towards growing visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by 2020, and these figures show that we are on track to achieving this."

The number of Australian residents travelling interstate on overnight trips also increased in 2015, to the tune of 7 per cent.

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