“The Government today released Tourism Research Australia’s State of the Industry 2015 report which shows international tourism leads the way, with inbound arrivals increasing by 6.6 per cent to a record 6.6 million arrivals in 2014–15,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Arrivals from New Zealand lead the way with 1.2 million inbound tourists. However, both China (up 21.7 per cent to 864,000 visitors) and India (up 19.9 per cent to 207,000) continue to drive growth in inbound arrivals.
“International tourism expenditure also reached a new high of $33.4 billion in 2014–15 following growth of 10 per cent which is the strongest expenditure recorded for a financial year since the Sydney Olympic Games.”
Senator Colbeck said the report also shows Australia’s domestic tourism is thriving – 83.2 million overnight trips were recorded last financial year which is the highest on record.
“Overnight visitor expenditure increased 4 per cent to a total of $55.4 billion and total overnight expenditure increased 6.3 per cent to $88.8 billion.
“Furthermore, the total value of the tourism investment pipeline increased by a net $4.3 billion to $53.7 billion in 2014.”
Senator Colbeck said the report gives a positive overview of Australia’s tourism industry and provides industry with increased confidence in the future.
“Since the Government identified Tourism as one the five National Investment Priorities, we have facilitated increased tourism infrastructure investment, built focused international marketing and embarked on visa reforms to make it easier for international tourists to come to Australia.
“This report provides further evidence that we are on track to reach the 2020 target of increasing overnight expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by the year 2020,” he said.
Recent reports have also supported these positive results, including TRA’s Tourism Forecasts 2015, which indicated strong growth over the next decade, and the Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015-2020 which identified opportunity for increasing employment in the sector.
The Australian Tourism Labour Force Report found that an additional 123,000 workers, including 60,000 skilled workers, will be needed to meet visitor demand by 2020.
However, Senator Colbeck noted that there is no room for complacency if we are to meet our 2020 targets. Continued focus on international aviation capacity; labour and skills shortages, infrastructure and visa reform is needed for us to reach our potential.
“This new report continues the trend of positive tourism numbers under this Government and we will remain focussed on embracing opportunities and reducing inhibitors into the future.