The latest results of the National Visitor Survey highlights the need for significant State Government investment to maximise the untapped potential of Victoria’s tourism industry, claims the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC).
Overall, Victoria enjoyed solid growth ahead of the national average across all key measures – including a 7.5 per cent rise in domestic overnight expenditure to $13.6 billion and a 6.6 per cent rise in domestic overnight visitors to 24 million.
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said Victorian tourism has huge potential but more State Government funding is required to ensure that ours is the most attractive and visited State in the country.
Regional Victoria recorded a strong double digit increase in overnight spend of 11.6 per cent – almost double the national regional average of 6.3 per cent – and visitor numbers rose to 15.6 million.
Interstate overnight visitors to Melbourne also grew, but the year-on-year increase in interstate spend of 3.8 per cent well below the national cities average of five per cent.
Tourism Research Australia’s figures for the year ending March 2018 show New South Wales has seen a major lift in its visitation and spend from business events.
“Victoria is lagging behind New South Wales, our major competitor, in every performance measure across visitor numbers, spend and nights,” Ms Mariani declared.
“VTIC’s push for $12-15 million over four years to a committed bid fund for the Melbourne Convention Bureau is vital if we are to remain competitive.
“This is no time to rest on our laurels. We need to ensure that our demand driving bodies like Visit Victoria and the state’s regional tourism boards are well funded to do the job they were created to do,” said Ms Mariani.
VTIC urges the next State Government to commit to ongoing funding to strengthen tourism across Victoria, creating jobs and supporting business in the visitor economy.