The growth in international tourists visiting Victoria is great news for our tourism industry, with very encouraging signs for regional destinations, but there are still areas in need of improvement, according to Victoria’s tourism industry peak body.
The latest International Visitor Survey, for the year ending March 2012, showed 5.5 per cent growth in international visitors, the strongest growth of any state, while there was a close to 20 per cent increase in international visitor expenditure in regional Victoria.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “The growth in visitation, length of stay and expenditure in regional Victoria is especially pleasing, and confirms the range of activities and experiences that can be undertaken across the state.”
“This is being led by large growth in visitors from Eastern markets, including China, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia. Victoria was also the only state to achieve an increase in visitors from Japan.
“It’s fantastic news that visitors from these rapidly growing markets are seeing Victoria as an attractive holiday and business event destination, and are broadening their experience beyond just Melbourne.
“However, the dispersal is uneven. Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley and the Dandenongs, and Phillip Island all recorded solid year-on-year growth. But the declines recorded for regions such as the Grampians and the Mornington Peninsula are worrying. Even the Great Ocean Road, a traditionally popular destination for international visitors, experienced a slight decline year on year. We need to address this situation.
“Also of concern is the decline in visitors from Western destinations, largely due to economic woes in western Europe. This is reflected in the decrease in backpacker visitors across the country, including Victoria.
“Another significant concern is the decline in education visitors to Victoria, especially in light of growth in this market in New South Wales and Queensland. Victoria’s previous strength in attracting international students is now weakening and greater coordination across both the education and tourism sectors is required to reverse this trend.”
The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak policy council for the Victorian tourism industry, which represents key industry associations, operators and government agencies, providing one united industry voice.
To arrange a media interview with VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith, contact Andrew Lowcock on firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 8662 5334 or 0423 883 945.