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TRA reports increase in visitors to Australia

More and more international tourists are visiting Australia and are spending longer amounts of time and money in the country when they are there, according to the latest report from Tourism Research Australia.

The report covered the year between December 2014 and December 2015 and showed that 6.9 million visitors - aged 15 and above - came to Australia during this time, which marks an increase of eight per cent.

Similarly, the amount of nights rose by 248 million in total, which shows an uplift of 11 per cent and these visitors spent a total of $36.6 billion (£19.1 billion) during this year that equals an 18 per cent uptick.

The report stated that this is the highest percentage growth in total trip expenditure since 2001.

The top five countries that visited Australia last year were New Zealand, China, the UK, USA and Singapore, which accounted for 53 per cent of the total trip spend.

China contributed the most to the total trip spend, posting 23 per cent of the overall figure, which was a 17 per cent increase from December 2006, according to the report.

Visitors from China also recorded the highest percentage of people who came to visit and of nights that they stayed in Australia. They were closely followed by travellers from the UK however, as they were both up by six per cent.

The report also showed that visitor numbers were up across most of the country, apart from the Northern Territory (NT). However the government is working on several tourism plans to boost the natural appeal of this part of Australia.

Plans already carried out by the government include the Million Dollar Fish campaign, which saw barramundi tagged and released across fishing locations in the Top End. One of these fish carried a $1 million prize tag and the others had tags with a value of $10,000.

Tourism NT's chief executive Tony Mayell is going to the world's largest travel show in Berlin this March to promote their message.

He said: "We're second to Queensland in terms of a holiday destination, but in terms of actual conversion, it's a very small percentage of Australian's that actually get here."

The government is also working on a plan to help small and medium-sized businesses working in the tourism industry in Northern Australia to improve their marketing and attract more visitors to this part of the country.

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