Record number of international tourists visit Canberra
Canberra has experienced a record number of overseas visitors ahead of this month’s launch of direct international flights.
The figures from Tourism Research Australia showed more than 203,000 international visitors arrived in the national capital in the year to June.
That is up more than 13 per cent on the previous 12-month period.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it represented a big boost for the economy.
“It’s encouraging because those 203,000 visitors have spent $420 million in our economy and that spend is up 16.4 per cent,” he said.
“[It means] more visitors are spending more money in Canberra’s economy and this flows through into more jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector.”
Singaporean visitors up 41 per cent: Barr
Mr Barr said the prospect of direct international flights from Canberra helped drive the figures higher.
He said the direct flights to Singapore and New Zealand, which begin in three weeks, were “already paying dividends”.
“China continues to the be the number one source market, and it recorded a 38.5 per cent increase,” he said.
“But really encouragingly for us, is the Singapore market was up by 41 per cent.
“Encouragingly also, the New Zealand market is also up 15 per cent.”
Visitors from America saw a 26 per cent jump, while visitors from the United Kingdom increased by 8 per cent.
Mr Barr said tourism would play a larger role in ACT’s economic future.
“Our expectation is that we will be able to grow tourism’s contribution to the ACT economy up to $2.5 billion by 2020,” he said.
“Previously tourism’s contribution had been around half that.”