10 November 2016
Australia welcomed more than eight million international tourists over the last 12 months according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Tourism Minister and Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo said this is the first time Australia has broken the eight million visitor mark which is great news for the Gold Coast.
“The more international tourists we have coming to Australia, the more we can get to visit the Gold Coast. I am focused on growing our tourism industry to support local businesses,” he said.
Since 2013, growth in the tourism industry has supercharged with visitor numbers breaking the six, seven, and now eight million mark.
“This rapid rise has come on the back of strong Coalition Government support for the tourism industry. The tourism industry is growing three times faster under the Coalition Government than it was under the previous Labor Government,” said Mr Ciobo.
Mr Ciobo said the Government’s support for the tourism industry hasn’t happened by accident. The Coalition:
- removed Labor’s carbon tax which slugged the tourism sector over $115 million in its first year alone;
- stopped Labor’s cuts to Tourism Australia and invested a record $639 million in Tourism Australia to promote Australia internationally;
- increased the number of markets that have access to online visa lodgement from 72 to over 200, including China, India and Indonesia;
- announced a new 10-year multiple entry visitor visa to encourage repeat visitation from China;
- made visa applications available online in Simplified Chinese – the first time Australia has trialled visa application lodgement in a language other than English; and
- expanded international aviation capacity, including a tripling of gateway capacity between Australia and China.
“Here on the Gold Coast, the jewel in Australia’s tourism crown, we’re seeing the results of this increased focus and investment in the tourism industry,” Mr Ciobo said.
“To drive further growth from our largest tourism market the Prime Minister and Chinese President have jointly designated 2017 as the Australia-China Year of Tourism,” he said.