Australians are flocking to Canberra in greater numbers than ever before, with the capital smashing the record for domestic visitors for the year ending March 2016.
The Tourism Research Australia national visitor survey released on Wednesday showed the ACT welcomed 2.3 million domestic visitors in that period.
This represents the highest ever annual number of visits for the ACT and the second highest growth nationally.
Chief minister Andrew Barr hailed the figures as “fantastic news for Canberra”, particularly so when combined with the record international visits recorded by another Tourism Research Australia survey earlier this month.
Barr said the figures bode well for the launch of direct international flights from Canberra to Singapore and Wellington in about three months’ time.
According to the survey, expenditure also increased above national averages. Visitors to the capital stayed for a total of 6.2 million nights and contributed $1.3 billion to the local economy.
The ACT recorded the joint highest expenditure growth of all states and territories at 14.2 per cent, well above the national average of 4.7 per cent.
“My government is working with the ACT tourism industry to attract more visitors through VisitCanberra’s One Good Thing After Another marketing positioning, with a goal of growing overnight visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by 2020,” Barr said.