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ANDREW Barr says Canberra has recorded its highest number of international visitors ever, with almost 200,000 overseas travellers visiting the capital in the year ending March 2016.
“This comes as Canberra prepares for the first direct international flights to operate from Canberra to Wellington and Singapore in September 2016, providing a further boost to our visitor numbers,” Andrew said.
“According to figures released today in Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey, the ACT has recorded its highest number of international visitors (199,771), visitor nights and expenditure.
“These are fantastic results, which reflect my Government’s efforts to attract more international visitors through VisitCanberra’s One Good Thing After Another marketing positioning and our lead up to international flights commencing later this year.
“Canberra’s international visitor numbers increased by 12.8 per cent on 2015, which is ahead of the 8.9 per cent national average and the highest growth of all states and territories. Growth across the holiday, visiting friends and relatives, business and education sectors all contributed to this increase.
“Visitor nights increased to 5.15 million for the year ending March 2016, representing an increase of 17.9 per cent, above the national average of 7.6 per cent.
“Visitors are also staying longer, with the average length of stay growing by 4.5 per cent to 25.8 nights, bucking the national trend which saw a decline of 1.2 per cent.
“International visitor expenditure grew to $409 million, representing an increase of 13.6 percent. This is the first time international expenditure has cracked the $400 million mark and will help us achieve our goal of growing the visitor economy to $2.5 billion by 2020.
“China remains the ACT’s largest international visitor market, recording an increase of 30.6 per cent, while strong growth was also seen in the United Kingdom (16.8 per cent), New Zealand (16.2 per cent) and United States of America (16.1 per cent) markets.
“I look forward to seeing our international visitor numbers continue to rise following the commencement of Singapore Airlines’ direct international flights this September.”