Statistics provided by Tourism Research Australia for the ACT Government are showing that Canberra has performed well above the national average for tourism during 2007. There has been strong growth in both international and domestic markets.
1.97 million domestic overnight and 164,675 international visitors visited the ACT during 2007, an increase of 6.9 per cent in international tourists and a 3 per cent increase in domestic overnight visitors over the year.
Nationally, the number of international visitors increased by 1.9 per cent over the year and domestic overnight visitation experienced only a slight rise of 0.3 per cent, so the results for the ACT are encouraging, particularly given the significant challenges in the domestic tourism market.
Australian Hotels Association ACT branch general manager Steven Fanner said there had been an increase in the hotel occupancy rate of between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent in 2007.
“Numbers of international visitors are very small so a 6.9 per cent increase on what is probably less than 2 per cent of the accommodation market is probably not going to have a great effect on the trade of my members,” he said.
“The vast majority of people who do stay in hotels are domestic, overnight visitors, and come for business or government travel through the week.”
ACT Chamber of Commerce chief executive Chris Peters said he hadn’t heard of any great increases in trade among hospitality and tourism industries in the ACT during 2007.
“In fact, some reported decreases…
The only thing I could think of that would link those together would be if there was an increase in day visits people who come to Canberra just for the day which often isn’t reflected in plane seats, hospitality or accommodation bookings,” he said.
Cuts might impact on travel to Canberra associated with various government agencies. Hospitality operators In Canberra are hopeful the coming ACT budget might have an increase in tourism funding to capitalise on the strong 2007 year to protect them from a potential drop in government-related travel in 2008.
Canberra and Region Visitor Centre Manager Michael Salmon said 2008 was shaping up to be strong for tourism with interstate visitors flocking to events.
How is tourism going in YOUR area?