Domestic tourism boom

Australians have spent $50 billion holidaying at home – the highest ever level of spending in one year, new data shows.

Spending by overnight visitors in the 12 months to March 2012 was up 10 per cent, according to National Visitor Survey figures released on Wednesday.

The number of nights Australians spent away from home was six per cent higher than the same period in the previous year and the number of overnight trips taken was up by five per cent.

Tourism Australia boss Andrew McEvoy says it’s the best news in a long time, with the figures showing four straight quarters of growth.

“Probably what I’m most pleased about is nights 12 per cent up for the quarter and six per cent up for the year and particularly the spend which is 15 per cent up for the quarter and 10 per cent up for the year,” he told AAP.

“We are coming off the back of a difficult year because of the (2011) Queensland floods, but growth is better than the previous year by a fair way,” he said.

“So it’s not just a bounce back from the floods, it’s actually that, plus some genuine growth.”

Australians have remembered they don’t have to look too far for great holiday destinations, McEvoy says.

“I think the industry is starting to see the signs of good life,” he said.

AAP

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