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Overseas visitors to Australia 'spending more than ever before'

Tourism to Australia is on the rise and visitors from overseas are spending more in the country than ever before, a new report reveals.
The latest International Visitor Survey from Tourism Research Australia shows that the number of foreign visitors to the nation increased by almost one-third (29 per cent) over the last three years, with the sum that tourists are spending rising by five per cent every 12 months during this period.
Last year, the number of nights spent in Australia by overseas visitors came in at 262 million in total, with these tourists spending a record annual sum of $39.8 billion throughout the course of their stays.
The Whitsunday Islands were found to be a particularly popular tourist destination, attracting $214.9 million of visitors' total spend over the last 12 months, marking an increase of seven per cent for the year. Meanwhile, tourism to the region grew by ten per cent.
Craig Turner, chief executive officer of Tourism Whitsundays, commented: "Tourism numbers are important of course, but it's their expenditure while here that really gives a boost to the industry and, indeed, the whole community.
"One in four jobs in the Whitsundays is in tourism, plus there are all the other industries that exist because of tourism - the marine industry, for example - so a record figure such as this is great news for everyone."
Another increasingly popular destination was the Sunshine Coast, which welcomed 12 per cent more international visitors in 2016 than in 2015, meaning some 288,000 people travelled to the area last year in total.
Tourism Research Australia found that visitors from Asian markets drove the biggest growth in spending, with tourists from Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan all spending significantly more while down under in 2016 than in previous years.
US tourists have also contributed strongly to recent growth, upping their spending by almost two-thirds (64 per cent) since 2012, with it reaching a total of $3.6 billion last year.

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