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Regions lag behind capital cities in tourism

Further evidence of the tourism industry being a growth sector now and in the future has been released, according to AAA.

Austrade’s “Tourism Research Australia State of the Nation 2016 Report” has confirmed the upward trajectory of the tourism industry by highlighting strong growth in numbers of both domestic and international visitors, with a positive jump in the number of domestic holidays (16.4 percent increase), said the association in a statement released this week.

“The report confirms that Australians are discovering fantastic holiday experiences and accommodation offerings across our nation, and that our tourism product is very much sought-after by Australians and international markets,” said chief executive officer of the Accommodation Association of Australia, Richard Munro.

“The rise in the number of in aircraft seats has correlated to an increase in accommodation occupancy, but unfortunately regions are still not performing as well as capital cities.

“This is a challenge for both industry and government.

“Dispersal to our regions should be a key focus with transport, infrastructure – including roads – and effective marketing playing a critical role in dispersing travellers to destinations other than capital cities.”

Occupancy in capital cities was 76.6 percent in 2016 and regions were 53.9 percent, a large gap despite some regions doing extremely well, such as Far North Queensland.

The investment in new accommodation is $7.6 billion, but there is some uncertainty for investors, notably the impact of unregulated residential accommodation being let commercially.

Mr Munro said: “It is important for all governments to help ensure the tourism industry thrives as a major source of employment for Australians through compliant, purpose-built, safe accommodation and adequate planning legislation which ensures that our tourists are provided a safe environment to enjoy their holiday.”

The complete Austrade report can be found here.

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