10 September 2008

Melbourne top choice for domestic Australian travellers

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In a nation-wide survey conducted by Tourism Victoria, Melbourne has yet again outshined Sydney for the number one destination for domestic travellers, reports the Age.

The capital of Victoria was the number one city in the categories of shopping, food, theatre, sporting/cultural events, style and romance, and cafes/bars/clubs.  The state also beat NSW in the quality regional food and wine, great place to tour by car, and spa/wellness experiences. 

Figures also show that tourism spending in Melbourne had surpassed Sydney’s earnings by $400 million. 

"We don't have the Barrier Reef or a Harbour Bridge but we have a great variety of tourism offerings that make Melbourne and regional Victoria so appealing to visitors from around Australia and overseas," said Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding. 

Despite Melbourne clearly being the domestic favourite for travellers, international visitors to Australia still choose NSW as their number one destination. 

NSW Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said "NSW is still the number one tourist destination in Australia.  More than 55 per cent of international holiday-makers visit NSW, many of whom start and end their trips in our beautiful state."

Most of the visitors arrive from China, the US and New Zealand.  Visitors with a New Zealand passport do not need an Australian Tourist Visa to visit Australia, however all other nationals including Chinese and American tourists need an ETA.  An ETA, or short-stay tourist visa, is valid for three months.  The conditions of the visa mean that tourists cannot work at any time during their stay in Australia.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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