Australia — More international visitors have come to Victoria over the last 12 months than ever before despite the impact of the Black Saturday bushfires, the Global Financial Crisis and swine flu.
Tourism Research Australias International Visitor Survey for the year ending March 2010 showed Victorias international overnight visitors increased by 4.2 per cent to 1.54 million visitors.
Premier John Brumby said it was remarkable after such a difficult year that more and more tourists were coming to Victoria, were staying longer and spending more than ever before.
These tourism statistics are great news for Victorias economy and show the strength of our tourism industry, Mr Brumby said.
International tourists are coming to Victoria in record numbers because of our world-class cultural and sporting events, our outstanding regional attractions like the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island and shopping and theatre.
It is also easier than ever to fly to Victoria with four new international airlines committing to fly from Melbourne Airport over the last 18 months AirAsia X, Etihad, V Australia and Qatar Airways and several existing airlines extending the frequency of their air services.
The latest statistics showed for the year ending March 2010:
* Victorias international overnight visitors increased by 4.2 per cent, compared to the national average (2.6 per cent), New South Wales (0.5 per cent) and Queensland (-1.6 per cent);
* Expenditure by international overnight visitors to Victoria increased by 4.3 per cent to $3.8 billion compared to New South Wales (down 0.9 per cent), Queensland (0.3 per cent) and the national average (1.6 per cent);
* The number of visitor nights increased by 10.8 per cent, which was more than double the national increase; and
* Expenditure by international overnight visitors in regional Victoria increased by 7.5 per cent to reach $300 million.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said he expected international tourism to remain strong over the next 12 months, especially with the announcement of Tiger Woods coming to Melbourne for the JB Were Masters later this year.
Our Government continues to support tourism in Victoria by attracting the worlds best major events, encouraging investment in new hotels and facilitating more air services out of Melbourne Airport which all help to boost economic activity and protect local jobs, Mr Holding said.
With China expected to become Victorias largest international visitor market by 2014 the Government has announced a new $8 million international marketing campaign to target the rapidly growing China market.
Its also great to see the number of visitors from India increased by 17.4 per cent particularly when you consider the challenges we faced from negative coverage last year from incidents involving Indian students.
International visitors, nights, expenditure and year-on-year growth: year ending March 20092010