The value of Victoria’s burgeoning visitor economy has soared to $30 billion, cementing tourism as a key driver of the state’s economy and a jobs powerhouse.
The Andrews Labor Government today confirmed the milestone, which shows major growth in international and domestic visitors who choose to spend their time and tourism dollars in Victoria.
According to Tourism Research Australia, Victoria welcomed 90.6 million international and domestic visitors who spent $30 billion in the year to March – growth of 11.2 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively.
The top five international countries for visitors were China (679,900), New Zealand (345,900), the US (247,700), UK (221,700) and India (170,800). Chinese visitors have grown by 13 per cent a year since 2014 while the number of Indian visitors more than doubled in the same period.
In regional Victoria, spending by all visitors was up by 10.4 per cent to $11 billion, while the total number of visitors increased by 9.5 per cent to 57.1 million.
Regional Victoria’s strongest performers experienced double digit growth in spending, including Victoria’s High Country (20.3 per cent), Gippsland (16.6 per cent), the Murray (14.7 per cent) and the Mornington Peninsula (14.1 per cent).
In Melbourne, total tourism spending grew by 10.3 per cent to reach $19 billion while total visitors grew by 13.6 per cent to reach 34.7 million.
Strong intrastate spending growth (up 16 per cent) has been fuelled by a sharp rise in Victorians choosing to explore their own backyard thanks to the Labor Government’s Your Happy Place and Wander Victoria campaigns.
These results show the Government’s Visitor Economy Strategy – with a goal to increase visitor spending to $36.5 billion by 2025 – is on track.
The Government continues to assemble an unbeatable calendar of major and local events to entice visitors while backing operators with infrastructure advancements across the state.
Tourism supports more than 214,000 jobs in Victoria, including 85,000 in regional areas.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 committed at extra $32 million to attract even more international, interstate and intrastate visitors across the state and create local jobs.
“From the picturesque High Country to our iconic beaches and the greatest city in the world, Melbourne, there is something for everyone in Victoria.” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula.