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ACT records its highest ever number of interstate visitors

The ACT has recorded its highest-ever number of interstate visitors with a 13 per cent increase for the year ending December 2016.

The 2.49 million visitors also spent more money while here – contributing nearly $1.5 billion to the ACT economy.

This was up 8.8 per cent from 2015, according to Tourism Research Australia's national visitor survey released today.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the gains were led by strong growth in the holiday market (up 32.5 per cent) and the business sector (up 14.6 per cent).

The ACT's growth was above the national average (4.2 per cent) and the third highest nationally behind the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Mr Barr said the government was working with the tourism industry towards a goal of lifting visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by 2020.

The latest tally for combined overseas and domestic spending was $1.9 billion.

"These figures complement excellent international numbers to Canberra, boosted even further by the start of Singapore Airlines direct international flights from last September," Mr Barr said.

"Low-cost domestic flights to Melbourne are now also in place, with work being done to secure a similar low-cost service to Adelaide.

"Canberra's tourism industry is a shining light of our economic diversification strategy.

"Tourism to Canberra continues to grow with new investment in hotel stock, blockbuster exhibitions, tour businesses and aviation capacity."

Survey results for 2013-16 show the ACT achieved a 21 per cent increase in total visitors and spending was up 24 per cent compared with 18 per cent nationally.

Total overnight expenditure in Australia reached $100 billion for the first time in 2016.

Federal tourism minister Steve Ciobo said growth in holiday spending meant more jobs and more investment, especially in regional areas where 45 per cent of tourist dollars were spent.


Source: Canberra Times

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