THE tourism industry is zooming ahead, growing at a rate three times faster than the rest of the economy during 2015/16, the latest ABS Tourism Satellite Account reveals.
The industry directly contributed a massive $52.9 billion to Gross Domestic Product within 12 months, a 7.4% increase on the prior period.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said the sector has retained its “super growth status.
“The Coalition is supporting the tourism industry with a record $639 million investment in Tourism Australia for offshore marketing,” Ciobo said.
“We are also making substantial improvements to Australia’s visa system, including multiple entry visas and premium processing services.”
The recent National Visitor Survey found domestic tourism is at an all-time high, hitting a record spend of $59.8 billion for the year ending September 2016.
Aussies took a total of 66.6 million trips in the last year for a holiday or to visit friends and relatives, equating to more than three trips per year per person.
Domestic travellers are also spending more time away, with the average trip growing 5% over the last three years to 3.7 nights.
Meanwhile, Asian markets including Korea and Japan have joined China in driving an 11.5% growth in Australian inbound tourists, the latest International Visitor Survey revealed.
Arrivals for the year to 30 Sep topped 7.4 million, with overall expenditure increasing 11% to $38.8 billion.
Visitor growth from China reached 1.1 million people, a 22% leap on the previous year, and spending by Chinese tourists exceeded $9 billion.
China closed in on top-ranked New Zealand, up 3% to 1.2 million, while Korea surged 29% to 255,000 visitors and Japan jumped 22% to 365,000.