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Victoria in the race to be the top destination for international visitors

Victoria is catching up with New South Wales when it comes to attracting international tourist dollars.

The figures, released by Tourism Research Australia, showed that Victoria experienced a nine per cent increase in international visitors for year ending March 2018 – higher than the national average.

Victoria now attracts 7 million international visitors who stayed 68 million nights in Victoria, spending $8 billion in our economy.  Our state has attracted one million additional visits over the past 12 months, an increase of 10 per cent, with the iconic Great Ocean Road one of Australia’s favourite destinations for our overseas visitors.

Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Felicia Mariani is thrilled by the latest results and said that Victoria’s performance is amongst the best in the country and well ahead of the national average.

“Victoria has now achieved a very solid performance in our market share. While we are behind the 36 per cent achieved by New South Wales, our 27 per cent share ensconces us firmly in the number two spot ahead of the 19 per cent share of Queensland.  The future is looking good for our tourism industry, however there’s a lot more we can do to grow and reach our full potential,” Ms Mariani said.

While overall international visitor numbers to regional Victoria has increased by 1.3 per cent, reaching 526,200 visitors in the last 12 months, these figures were well below the national regional average of 4.7 per cent.

Another concern is the overnight visitor numbers to our regional areas, which has decreased by 1.6 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

Ms Mariani said these figures reinforce VTIC’s position that investment is urgently needed to ensure regional Victoria can cash in on Victoria’s growing international market.

“Unfortunately, regional Victoria is not capitalising on the wealth of international visitations. From every dollar spent by international visitors in our state, only seven cents remains the figure spent in regional Victoria – that figure has not moved for the last three quarterly reports,” Ms Mariani declared.

Regional Victoria has amazing natural assets but these areas need more investment and Government funding to meet the expectations of international visitors.

“Victoria needs to be far more aggressive in attracting and converting international visitation. To do this effectively, there needs to be a greater investment in regional infrastructure and in creating the nature-based experiences that meet the evolving demands of today’s global visitors.

“Other states are making significant investment in this area with the Queensland Government investing $180 million in their 2018-19 budget to regional infrastructure and experience development and the Tasmanian Government committing $20 million to creating their third iconic hut-based walk to accompany Cradle Mountain Walk and the Three Capes Track.”

“VTIC was very pleased with the announcement that AirAsia will begin international flights to Avalon Airport in December. This will mean that we have a great opportunity to create better connectivity to our regional areas in the western part of the state. Investments like this are urgently needed to strengthen tourism in Victoria,” said Ms Mariani.

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