It’s official. NSW is the nation’s favourite tourist destination

New independent figures released today show NSW enjoyed a bumper end to 2009 with domestic overnight visitors to the State increasing by 7 per cent.

This follows figures released last week that show NSW continues to lead the nation’s international tourist recovery.

Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said the latest National Visitor Survey showed NSW was the only State to see a significant increase in visitor numbers in the last quarter of 2009.

“While domestic travel by Australians saw no significant change overall, visitor numbers to Victoria and Queensland actually fell by 4 per cent and 9 per cent respectively,” Ms McKay said.

“So the fact that NSW bucked that trend with a 7 per cent increase in the number of visitors over the quarter is another clear sign that we’re leading the nation’s tourism recovery.”

Ms McKay said that the State’s share of domestic visitors increased by 3.2 per cent to 37 per cent over the quarter, compared to Victoria and Queensland, both at 23 per cent.

“NSW is the number one State for Australian visitors, visitor nights and visitor spending,” Ms McKay said.

“Our State is the nation’s favourite destination and these results are great news for the State’s tourism businesses and for the economy.

“Last week’s International Visitor Survey showed that international visitors to NSW increased by almost 7 per cent last quarter, with visitor nights up by almost 13 per cent.

“The best news is that 2010 is already shaping up to be a great year for tourism in the State with operators reporting strong bookings over the summer.”

Ms McKay said the results also show a 12 per cent increase in the number of visitors to Sydney in the quarter ending December 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008.

“Sydney saw more than 1.8 million Australian visitors in the last quarter of 2009, an increase of around 200,000 compared with the previous year.

“Regional NSW also recorded a positive quarter with a 6 per cent overall increase in the number of domestic overnight visitors,” Ms McKay said.

A few regions in particular saw significant increases over the quarter, including the Murray (up 40 per cent), Capital Country (up 36 per cent) and New England North West (up 28 per cent).

For the year ending December 2009, NSW received 22.6 million domestic overnight visitors who stayed 77 million nights and injected more than $12.25 billion into the State’s economy.

* Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey December 2009 quarter.

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