CANBERRA experienced a large increase in overnight visitors from interstate in the past year, according to new data published by Tourism Research Australia.According to the latest National Visitor Survey, the number of people visiting the ACT from interstate and staying overnight jumped by 9 per cent in the 2012-13 financial year, an increase of 170,000 on the previous year.
The national average for domestic overnight visitors increased by 2.6 per cent over the same period.
The result is the best since the year ending June 2004, according to a statement from Tourism and Events Minister Andrew Barr, who attributes the increase to major sporting and cultural events combined with interstate promotional campaigns.
Mr Barr notes the National Gallery’s Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition, the Enlighten festival, Canberra’s Big Birthday Weekend and sporting events like the one-day cricket international, the Women’s Australian Open golf tournament, and the British & Irish Lions rugby match as drawcards, and Australian Capital Tourism’s Human Brochure as an example of successful tourism marketing.
The ACT Government estimates the visitors brought with them about $1.2 billion to spend in the ACT economy, or $159 million more than the previous year.
Most interstate overnight visitors came to Canberra either to visit friends and relatives (38 per cent) or for business (29 per cent), with holidaymakers only accounting for 27 per cent of the total.
Overall, 2,049,000 overnight visitors came to Canberra during the last financial year and stayed for an average of 3 nights each, adding up to a combined total of more than 6 million nights spent in the capital.