While Victoria continues to attract an ever increasing number of international tourists, regional Victoria is missing out on this financial bonanza.
Latest results of the International Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2017 reveal that overseas visitors spent an extra 10.7 per cent in Victoria last year, but only seven cents of every international dollar spent in the state was spent in regional areas.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said that this disparity highlights one of the biggest ongoing challenges for Victoria’s visitor economy, which is encouraging international tourists to regional Victoria.
“We are spoilt with natural wonders and unique regional experiences, many of which are within close proximity to one another, yet we are not capitalising on the spend opportunity,” she said.
“Government must invest in improving and creating the nature-based experiences in our regional areas that will not only attract international visitors to regional Victoria, but provide compelling reasons for them to stay longer and spend more.
“We must take full advantage of strong international visitation into Victoria and help support the many thousands of regional businesses that rely heavily on strong year-round tourism performance,” she said.
Ms Mariani said that while there has been strong growth in expenditure from Eastern markets including China, Japan, India and Hong Kong, Western markets including UK, USA, Germany and New Zealand all declined.
“The $5 million China campaign just launched by Visit Victoria will assist in attracting even more visitors from our biggest spending market; and Victoria capitalising on Tourism Australia’s latest Crocodile Dundee campaign in the US will help to improve results from this key traditional market.
“Our State’s marketing body must, however, be given long-term funding security to market Victoria to the world so we can cement our position as the choice destination in Australia for both Eastern and Western market travellers,” Ms Mariani said.