Domestic tourism up as Aussies holiday at home

Domestic tourism in Australia has posted its strongest 12-month figures since before the start of the global financial crisis.

The latest National Visitor Survey released today shows the number of home-grown trips, and the amount holidaymakers are spending, is rising strongly.

Overnight trips rose 6 per cent in 2011-12 compared with the previous year, with visitor nights up 7 per cent and spending up 9 per cent.

Spending on day trips was also up a solid 15.7 per cent.

The Tourism and Transport Forum says the figures show Australians took an extra 4.2 million overnight trips compared with the previous year.

"While there is still strong growth in the number of Australians travelling overseas, they are also spending money on travel and attractions at home," Chief Executive John Lee said.

He said the figures should stimulate confidence in the industry.

"This shows there is strong underlying demand for Australian tourism products, accommodation and experiences.

"The growth in both domestic travel and international arrivals should give investors the confidence they need to commit to projects that will add to or refresh Australia's tourism product offering."


Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the strong quarterly data confirms the recent positive growth trend in domestic tourism, which has enjoyed five consecutive quarters of growth.

"There's plenty to be upbeat about in the quarter, with overnight trips up 10 per cent, nights up 7 per cent and, importantly, this being translated into tourism dollars - with spend up 7.5 per cent.

"Even allowing for the Easter effect, to see holiday spend grow by more than 9 per cent in the quarter is a pleasing result," he said.