The commencement of direct international flights into Canberra Airport has helped boost the number of international visitors to the Territory to record levels, with 207,859 overseas travellers visiting the capital in calendar 2016.
Figures released in Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey show that Canberra’s international visitor numbers increased by 6.5 per cent on 2015’s results. Growth across the holiday and visiting friends and relatives sectors contributed to this increase.
International visitor expenditure also grew to new record of $452.2 million, representing an increase of 14.7 percent – more than double the national average of 7 percent.
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China remains the ACT’s largest international visitor market, representing 19.7 per cent of all international visitors to the ACT, followed by the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand and Singapore.
Visitors from Singapore increased by 73.5 per cent in 2016 after Singapore Airlines began regular flights to and from Canberra.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the figures “reflected the Government’s efforts to be more internationally engaged” and noted that the city’s tourism industry supported the economy by employing over 16,000 Canberrans.
“We look forward to seeing further positive results as we work towards growing the ACT’s overnight visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by 2020,” he said.
Pictured above are ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and ACT Commissioner for International Engagement Brendan Smyth at the launch at Canberra Airport of the ACT’s international engagement stragegy document in late 2016. Photo: Charlotte Harper