21 June 2017, Written by David Simmons

DOMESTIC Australian tourists have spent a record breaking $61.7 billion on intra and interstate travel this year, according to the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS).

Spending by Australians rose by $3.7 billion which is an increase of six per cent compared to the 2015-16 period.

The record level of domestic travel spending is in line with international tourists who, in the same period, spent a record $39.8 billion for the year ending March 2017. Combined, tourists in Australia spent a record $101.6 billion.

The Gold Coast was a big benefactor from domestic travel this year, with tourists spending a record $3.1 billion over the past 12 months.

More than 3.9 million Australians travelled to the Gold Coast for the year ending March 2017, which was an increase of seven per cent.

Gold Coast Tourism chair Paul Donovan says these figures are even more impressive given the city was hugely impacted by Cyclone Debbie this year.

"We had a period impacted by Cyclone Debbie as well as the Easter holidays moving out of that quarter compared with the year before," says Donovan.

"But the resilience of the destination is demonstrated not only in the total number of visits but also by the fact that domestic overnight total expenditure was up 3.5 per cent to $3.05 billion."

The NVS detailed that 1.9 million Australian tourists spent time on the Gold Coast's numerous beaches during their stay.

Restaurants were another draw card for Australian tourists, with more than 2.8 million saying they visited a Gold Coast eatery which is an increase of eight per cent.

Combined with international tourists, the Gold Coast saw more than 4.9 million international and Australian tourists who spent almost $4.3 billion in just 12 months.

Federal Tourism Minister and Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo says these figures are promising for the Gold Coast economy, as tourism is a big job creator in the city.

"This is great news for the Gold Coast and all those employed in the tourism industry," says Ciobo.

"More tourists mean a stronger economy, more jobs, and more prosperity for the Gold Coast so these results are great news for the city," he says.

The total number of domestic nights spent on the Gold Coast hit 14.3 million, an average of 3.7 nights per visitor.

Donovan says whilst the numbers are to be celebrated there is still work to be done.

"This is a particularly important year for the Gold Coast as we lead into the 2018 Commonwealth Games," says Donovan.

"We are very appreciative of the record funding allocated to Gold Coast Tourism by the City of Gold Coast Council and that is a clear green light to market the destination with extra vigour."

The state of Queensland saw domestic tourists spending $15.3 billion over the last year.

Queensland Tourism and Major Event Minister Kate Jones says the figures reflect the passion Australians have for the sunshine state.

"The growth we have seen in expenditure of 5.8 per cent is nearly double the growth rate of New South Wales," says Jones.

"More Australians are choosing to holiday in Queensland with close to half of our domestic market expenditure, $7 billion, coming from people holidaying in the state."

Regional Queensland also performed well, with about three quarters of expenditure in Queensland coming from outside of Brisbane.

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Author: David Simmons





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