07 March 2007

Tourists staying longer, spending more in Australia

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Australia's "So Where The Bloody hell Are You?" campaign might not have had a huge increase in the numbers but tourists in Australia are staying longer and spending more.

The new report by Tourism Research Australia, International Visitors In Australia (December 2006), show there were 5.1m overseas visitors to Australia last year and an overall tourist spend of $19.5bn, up $1.8bn on 2005.

Overseas tourists also stayed for an average of 3.6 nights longer in the country, an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year.

The Federal Government spent over $200 million last year promoting Australia in the UK, USA, Europe and the Far East in a campaign that was highlighted by the "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?" adverts.

Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said today's figures had proved the promotion was successful.

“International tourists spent an extra $1.8 billion in Australia last year," said Bailey.

"This is $1.8 billion more being spent in hotels, shops and restaurants right across Australia. This is creating plenty of new jobs in our vibrant tourism industry.

"Today's results demonstrate that the So Where the Bloody Hell Are You? campaign is beginning to cut through. It is helping to attract more big spending tourists to our shops and shores. This is happening thanks to the Australian Government's strong investment in the tourism industry."

Korean tourists in Australia increased their spend by 54 per cent to $903 million, whilst UK visitors spent 15 per cent more ($2,039 million) and tourists from the USA were another main group who stayed longer and spent more (28 per cent to $1,226 million).

Backpackers holidaying and working in Australia put nearly $3bn into the economy last year. In total, 545,000 backpackers visited Australia in 2006 and spent an extra $482 million that the previous 12 months.

Said Bailey: "Backpackers injected $2.8 billion in Australia last year. This is money directly spent in local shops, pubs and hotels. Backpackers also visit throughout Australia, injecting millions into regional communities.

"Increasing numbers of well-heeled backpackers who have plenty of money to spend are discovering Australia. They are spending their money throughout Australia and creating plenty of jobs along the way."

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