TOURISM THE South West tourism industry continues to experience steady growth, according to a survey on the holiday habits of Australians.
The National Visitor Survey revealed record numbers of Australians are choosing to holiday at home, with the number of overnight trips, number of nights stayed and spending all soaring.
In the South West, 2,982,000 Australian tourists visited the region in 2017.
The figures are a 2 per cent increase in the past year, and are up 11 per cent in the past three years.
The survey also showed tourists stayed 9,758,000 nights and spent $1,637,000 in that period.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the survey results provided great news for local businesses.
“More travellers coming to the South West means a boost for our local economy and more local jobs,” she said.
“Our beautiful region is drawing tourists in droves with our stunning attractions and effective tourism operators,” she said.
Mrs Marino said the investment in the Busselton Margaret River Airport would pave the way for even more tourists as well as freight options.
In more good news for the region, the study showed Australians are getting outside more for their holidays.
Visits to national parks, bushwalking, water-based activities and sports all experience a percentage hike between nine and 12 per cent.
The National Visitor Survey follows the strong tourism growth shown in the International Visitor Survey, which revealed 166,000 international tourists visited the region, staying 2,237,000 nights and spending $1,450,000 over the same period.
On a national scale, overnight trips by Australians grew by seven per cent and the number of nights stayed by six per cent.
Federal minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said the record number of international visitors and Australians holidaying at home was fantastic for the tourism industry.
“It’s a $100 billion plus gift to our economy and all the small businesses that rely on a thriving tourism industry,” he said.
Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.