Tourism Minister urges on Domestic market efforts

Friday 18 September


Tourism Minister urges on Domestic market efforts


Today's National Visitor Survey released by Tourism Research Australia shows that domestic tourism in the June quarter 2009 was down compared to the June quarter last year.  Overnight visitor numbers fell by 4.4% and visitor nights were down 4.1%.  


Minister Ferguson said, "That is why I will continue to encourage Tourism Australia to focus more of its efforts on the domestic market, as well as maintaining an international commitment to keep Australia top of mind when the global economy picks up.  Tourism Australia and State tourism organisations will spend nearly half a billion dollars this year selling Australia to the world.  Tourism Australia and 94 partner organisations have also invested almost $4 million to prise 123 million days of accrued leave from the fingers of hard-working Australians".


"That level is worth around $33 billion and that money could, and should be, going into the hands of the Australian tourism industry.   I'm pleased to say 750,000 copies of My Australia, the next stage of the No Leave No Life campaign – providing inspirational holiday ideas – will be distributed across the nation next week.  In the true Australian spirit, we need Australian employers and workers to get behind this campaign and help their mates in the tourism industry by taking a holiday at home".


The biggest fall in the June quarter was in the business travel category, reflecting a more cautious approach to expenditure as the business community has responded to the global financial crisis. Overnight visitor numbers were down 13% and visitor nights 11%.  The visiting friends and relatives category showed a 2.5% fall in visitor numbers, but a 10% decline in visitor nights, also reflecting a more cautious approach to spending during the economic downturn.


In other categories, the tourism industry held its own, reflecting the success of the No Leave, No Life campaign and the government's economic stimulus package.  Overnight visitor numbers increased by 6% for education, personal appointments, health-related and employment/leisure purposes, with visitor nights remaining steady. And although holiday travel numbers declined by 2%, visitor nights were up by 3%.


Minister Ferguson said: "It is also worth noting, that even in the middle of a global financial crisis, restaurant and catering grew over the last year and Restaurant and Catering Australia has given full credit to the government's economic stimulus package, estimating at least $80 million was injected into the industry.


"As a result of the stimulus, the Australian economy is the only advanced economy in the world to have grown in the face of the global financial crisis.”  


Editors comments: With Nick Sherry, Assistant Federal Treasurer coming up as guest speaker at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon being hosted at the Sheraton Mirage Hotel next Tuesday, Sept 22 at 12 noon, this would surely be an ideal time to table further questions about the state of the economy, with particular reference to the governments plans for tourism investment ? 


For bookings at the Luncheon please see details on  Chamber web site


.......See you there !