19 May 2008

Melbourne is top destination for Australian travellers

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Melbourne has overtaken Sydney as Australia's leading tourist destination, meaning more people on a working holiday visa may choose the area. The city has surpassed the country's capital for only the second time in history.

Figures for March show that domestic travel spending in Melbourne had increased above the level of Sydney's. This may be due to increased spending by the Victorian government on marketing to working holiday visa holders. It spent AZ$80 million (£39 million), compared to the AZ$55.9 million spent in New South Wales.

One Sydney resident, Evah Tah Ball, said travellers prefer the south coast city of Melbourne as it is "comfortable" and has good transport links, she added that a "great café culture and night life" leads to many people on an Australian working holiday visa visiting the area.

Australia was recently named as a top tourist destination with six of the country's cities being included in the top 20 in the world for hotel occupancy rates. Melbourne was included in the list, alongside Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns.

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