The state’s tourism peak body is calling on the Victorian Government to offer concession travel rates to international students, with Victoria now the only state in Australia not to do so.
VTIC says New South Wales recently extended concession travel to international students, and Victoria should do the same.
“Every other state and territory in Australia offers public transport concession rates to international students,” says VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
“Education visitors are very valuable to Australia’s tourism industry and not offering a concession when it is standard practice across the rest of the nation makes Victoria less competitive for this important market.”
According to Tourism Research Australia’s June quarter International Visitor Survey results, seven per cent of international visitors to Australia listed ‘education’ as their main purpose of travel. International students account for 51 million, or just over a quarter, of the number of nights international visitors spend in Australia.
The June International Visitor Survey showed international education visitation to Victoria has declined, however there was notable growth in Chinese education arrivals to Victoria with an increase of more than six per cent.
“As the Victorian Government works to strengthen ties with China, it makes sense that simple measures such as extending concession rates to international students be made,” says Ms Smith.
“International students importantly also attract a significant number of visiting friends and relatives to Victoria.
“With their longer length of stay and propensity to travel to the regions, Victoria should be doing all it can to attract international students. International students also represent a great opportunity for cultural exchange.
“We call on the government to offer a student travel concession to international students that will ensure Victoria does not lose its competitive edge over other states in attracting this important market.
“Let’s at least lay out the same welcome mat for this important group as the rest of the nation.”