8 June 2013

Tourism numbers on the rise

| johnboy
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Andrew Barr is celebrating a rise in international visitation:

People from overseas coming to Canberra to see their friends and relatives in the first quarter of this year have contributed to a 9.2 per cent annual increase in international visitors to the nation’s capital.

This compares with a 4.9 per cent increase in international overnight visitation nationally over the same period.

Tourism Research Australia’s latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) reveals there were 177,093 international visitors in the ACT for the year ending March 2013, up from 162,190 the previous year.

This represents Canberra’s strongest year ending March result since 2002 and further demonstrates Canberra’s capacity to grow its international leisure, education and business tourism markets.

The survey also reveals international visitor spend in the ACT for the year ending March 2013 was $388 million, an increase of $45 million on the previous year.

So great, we can stop spending money supporting hotel owners now?

Maybe spend those millions on emergency housing for the people who are already here?

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More visitors is great but where are they going, are they spending and is ACTGOV reaping anything from it?

Seeing as though the Territory doesn’t have any industry per se I would imagine the tourism buck is crucial… but after recently visiting Tidbinbilla and Namadgi visitor buildings and facilities with interstate guests it’s hard to imagine that they can compete with AWM, APH, NGA etc. – it doesn’t look as either place has had any sort of upgrade for a couple of decades. I found myself apologising to guests that these attractions were so ‘dated’, gift shop merch kitsch, cliched and made oversees and cafe facilities not indicated or non-existant. Funding has gone to the Arboretum I suppose but it won’t be any sort of attraction for years yet.

And what ever happened to Tourist Drive 5? There’s so much potential for ACTGOV to promote the Cotter, Tidbinbilla and Namadgi to an environment-savvy and aware Canberra public but it’s a desert out there.

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