12/09/2012 - 12:00

Best domestic tourism figures since GFC

12/09/2012 - 12:00

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Overnight trips in WA were up 8 per cent on 2010-11, new research says.

Domestic tourism in Australia has posted its strongest 12-month figures since before the start of the global financial crisis, new data shows.

The latest National Visitor Survey, released today, shows the number of home-grown trips, and the amount holidaymakers are spending, is rising strongly.

Overnight trips rose six per cent in 2011-12 compared to the previous year, with visitor nights up seven per cent and spending up nine per cent.

Spending on day trips was also up by a solid 15.7 per cent.

In Western Australia, overnight trips were up 8 per cent on 2010-11, with visitor nights up 10 per cent.

Day visitors were up 8 per cent in Perth, the survey said, spending $904 million.

Holiday-makers that visited regional WA for the day spent $548 million.

Spending by domestic overnight visitors was highest in New South Wales ($14.1 billion), Queensland ($13.9 billion) and Victoria ($10.2 billion).

The peak industry body, Tourism and Transport Forum, says the figures show Australians took an extra 4.2 million overnight trips compared to the previous year.

"While there is still strong growth in the number of Australians travelling overseas, they are also spending money on travel and attractions at home," Chief Executive John Lee said.

He said the figures should stimulate confidence in the industry.

"This shows there is strong underlying demand for Australian tourism products, accommodation and experiences.

"The growth in both domestic travel and international arrivals should give investors the confidence they need to commit to projects that will add to or refresh Australia's tourism product offering."

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the strong quarterly data confirms the recent positive growth trend in domestic tourism, which has enjoyed five consecutive quarters of growth.

"There's plenty to be upbeat about in the quarter with overnight trips up 10 per cent, nights up seven per cent and, importantly, this being translated into tourism dollars - with spend up 7.5 per cent.

"Even allowing for the Easter effect, to see holiday spend grow by more than nine per cent in the quarter is a pleasing result," he said.

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