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SHANE Rattenbury says the National Arboretum Canberra saw its visitation once again increase in 2015 with over a half a million visitors recorded through the Village Centre.
“Since it opened in February 2013 the Arboretum has quickly developed into a major and unique tourist attraction in Canberra,” Shane said.
“In 2015, 543,517 visitors were recorded at the Village Centre alone compared to 396,924 in 2014. This figure does not include people who visit the Arboretum grounds, but do not visit the Village Centre. The Arboretum attracts 40,000 visitors a month from all over the world with increasing numbers from Asia, including Japan and India. Visitors from the UK have increased across the warmer months, perhaps influenced by visits from The Duke and Duchess of Kent in 2014 and more recent ceremonial tree plantings by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cambridge.
“The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection continues to be a major attraction at the Arboretum with 145,690 visitors in 2015, nearly double the figures from 2014. This equates to about 9,100 visitors a month.
“The Arboretum’s unique venues and outdoor spaces, most of which offer spectacular views of Canberra, have proven to be a popular place for private functions and events. In 2015, 192 functions were held in venues around the Arboretum including the Village Centre, Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, the Green Room and spaces within the forests. These functions included everything from weddings to planning days, corporate functions and school formals. The site has also been used for major cycling events and several car launches and television commercials.
“Visitors now also have the opportunity to explore the Arboretum like never before with the new sustainable trails running from the Village Centre to points of interest including the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP), the Wide Brown Land sculpture, the Himalayan cedar forest and Dairy Farmers Hill.
“I encourage all Canberrans to visit the Arboretum, particularly those who haven’t had a chance to visit yet, and experience the fantastic views, walks and activities.”