The State is leading the nation in the number of visitors, visitor nights and visitor expenditure, according to the International and National Visitor Surveys to year end September 2013.
“This is a great result for NSW. We welcomed more than 28 million international and domestic visitors who stayed 155 million nights and spent $21.6 billion,” Mr Souris said.
“NSW was also the main driver of growth for the entire country in visitors, visitor nights and expenditure, having outperformed all other States and notably, achieving double the national average growth in expenditure.
“Our focus on doubling overnight expenditure by 2020 continues to gather momentum and generate strong returns. In fact, in the September quarter, NSW was the only State on the Eastern Seaboard to record growth in visitors and nights.
“Sydney also leads Melbourne and Brisbane in international and domestic visitors, nights and tourist spending.
“Holidaying in NSW was a significant driver in our growth. Domestically NSW saw a 10.4 per cent increase in holiday makers and a 14.3 per cent increase in spending, driven mainly by increases in spending in Regional NSW.
“Domestic visitors to NSW grew by 5.4 per cent. Areas where there have been marketing campaigns supported by our agency, Destination NSW, saw significant increases in visitors, such as the South Coast which experienced a 21.1 per cent increase in holiday makers,” Mr Souris said.
Internationally, NSW has continued its dominant position with the greatest share of Australia’s visitor numbers up by 8.2 per cent), nights and spending (up by 12.7 per cent).
Mr Souris said the Government’s investment in securing major sports events for Sydney, including in the September quarter the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour, the Manchester United tour, State of Origin final game, the NRL final series and the Bledisloe Cup all contributed to impressive visitor growth.
“For the second successive quarter, China tops the list of international tourists to NSW. More than 60 per cent of Chinese visitors to Australia visited NSW in the year ended September 2013, an increase of 18 per cent.
“They stayed more than 11.6 million nights and contributed $1.4 billion – which is an additional $178.5 million to the NSW economy on the previous year.
“Through Destination NSW, our tourism and major events agency, we will continue to ensure NSW is the first choice for visitors from China, through the delivery of our China Tourism Strategy – a direct recommendation of the Visitor Economy Taskforce Report.
“Malaysia and Singapore also boosted visitors as a result of the introduction of new services by AirAsia X, Scoot and Air India services secured for Sydney by the NSW Government.
“There was also an increase in tourists from India of 9.4 per cent in the year ended September 2013, with expenditure up 16.9 per cent.
With new direct services from Air India’s daily triangulated services to Sydney and Melbourne from 30 August, visitors from India to NSW for the September quarter rose by 19.9 per cent.
NSW also saw a 17 per cent increase in Working Holiday Makers, with double digit growth from traditional Western markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France. In particular there was a 52% increase in Working Holiday Makers visitor nights from the United Kingdom.
“NSW is a dream destination for visitors looking to experience our wonderful cities and regions. Working Holiday Makers in this period made a significant contribution to our State,” said Mr Souris.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “NSW has never been a more appealing destination to both national and international visitors.
The Government’s focus, through Destination NSW, on securing major events, developing our tourism products, working with airlines to increase direct services and capacity and spreading the message far and wide about NSW will deliver even stronger results for the State and importantly, an even better experience for the millions of visitors.”
Image courtesty Destination NSW; Dan Boud