The Victoria Tourism Industry Council today welcomes encouraging results for visitation to regional Victoria but is concerned about the small expenditure by international visitors in regional areas.
The proportion of international visitor spend in regional Victoria remains small with just seven cents from every tourism dollar generated by an international overnight visitor spent in regional Victoria. In contrast, 92.9 per cent of total international overnight expenditure in Victoria is spent in Melbourne.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Brad Ostermeyer said the latest International Visitor Survey results released today are encouraging, with international expenditure in regional areas up 28.2 per cent year-on-year to $513 million.
“While visitation results are strong, the data also highlights the ongoing challenge for regional tourism,” he said.
“Although the number of visitor nights in regional areas is increasing, there are still not enough tourism products and services in regional Victoria to entice international visitors to spend more. Investment in regional tourism infrastructure and attractions is vital for the Victorian economy to reap the full benefits of the growing visitation to regional areas.
“Although the Great Ocean Road region showed good year-on-year visitor growth, what the statistics don’t show is how lacking the visitor experience is at the 12 Apostles. International visitors visiting this attraction expect better infrastructure and services and the whole experience of visiting the 12 Apostles must be vastly improved for international visitors to continue visiting the region.”
The slowing growth rate of visitors from China is also a concern for VTIC. Although China continues to be the largest source of international visitors, the growth of 7.3 per cent recorded in Victoria is well behind the national average for the period (+12.2 per cent) and New South Wales (+14.4 per cent). This is a disappointing result, given the increased aviation capacity from China since mid to late 2015 with direct flights from China Southern, China Eastern and Air China.
Victoria continues to lag behind New South Wales on international visitor expenditure (year-on-year growth of 7.8 to $7.3 billion, compared with 9.5 per cent growth for New South Wales); and on international visitor numbers, recording year-on-year growth of 7.7 per cent to 2.7 million, behind both New South Wales (+9.8 per cent) and the national average growth rate (+9.2 per cent).
“This is a worrying trend that must be addressed before Victoria lags even further behind its interstate counterparts. With improved aviation access from China in place, Victoria needs to support this valuable investment with significant ongoing tourism marketing activities,” Mr Ostermeyer said.
For further details of the latest International Visitor Survey results for Victoria click here.