Canberra draws two million tourists

AS Visit Canberra launches its new “101 Humans” tourism campaign today, the latest national survey from Tourism Research Australia reveals a 5 per cent upswing in overnight visitors to the ACT over the centennial year.

Andrew Barr

Andrew Barr

The ACT’s 2,055,000 domestic overnight visitors in 2013 represents a 5.1 per cent increase on 2012, and compares with a national figure of 1.8 per cent for the same period.

Visitors contributed an estimated $1.2 billion to the ACT economy in 2013, an increase of $131 million on the 2012 result, according to a statement from Tourism and Events minister Andrew Barr’s office.

The minister attributes the increase largely to the leisure sector, with domestic overnight holiday visitors to the ACT up by 39 per cent, and the total number of they stayed for up by 26 per cent.

The new “101 Humans” campaign aims to capitalise on the fact that the majority of Canberra’s visitors are in the “visiting friends and relatives” category, with business trips accounting for the second-largest group.

Mr Barr’s office believes the strong performance of Canberra’s leisure sector during 2013 helped offset a lacklustre year for business travellers, due to Federal Parliament taking a longer than usual break for the election.

“The negative effects of this longer recess can be clearly seen in the ACT’s year ending results for the business sector – with business visitors down by 6 per cent and business visitor nights falling by 42 per cent,” the minister’s statement reads.

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