Following the release of the quarterly visitation statistics by Tourism Research Australia, Murray Regional Tourism (MRT) announced last week that international visitation was continuing to rise.
The statistics revealed 55,800 people from overseas travelled to the Murray region last year, which was an increase of 13 per cent on the year ending December 2014.
International visitors stayed almost 1.5 million nights, up by 34.9 per cent, injecting an estimated $62 million into the regional economy averaging $42 per person per night.
This was an increase of 30.5 per cent for the same period last year.
MRT Chair Wendy Greiner said she was delighted by the increase.
“The Murray is a quintessentially Australian holiday destination attracting international visitors through our extensive range of unique and quality tourism experiences available in one destination,” Ms Greiner said.
“We are very pleased that more international visitors are exploring our stunning region, a 34.9 per cent increase in visitor nights demonstrates strong international market growth.
“MRT is committed to increasing visitation and creating jobs through quality visitor experiences and their promotion.”
Sun Country, which includes Yarrawonga Mulwala, received 497,000 domestic overnight visitors who spent an estimated $212 million dollars in the region and stayed almost 1.5 million nights while international visitation increased by 8.4 per cent to 6,400 overseas visitors.
The most popular reason for visiting Sun Country was “holiday” (59.9 per cent) followed by “visiting friends and relatives” (35.5 per cent); compared to the year ending December 2014, “holiday” grew by 12.3 percentage points.
In addition “eating out and dining at a restaurant or café” was the preferred activity undertaken by visitors to Sun Country (47.9 per cent) while “visiting friends and relatives” came in second (43.0 per cent).
Total visitor nights rose by 3.8 per cent to 8.9 million in the Murray indicating that people were choosing to spend longer when visiting the region.
The Murray received an estimated 5.2 million visitors between December 2014 and December 2015 with total expenditure reaching approximately $1.5 billion.
MRT works in partnership with Tourism Victoria, Destination New South Wales and 14 local government areas and regional tourism associations including Moira and Corowa Shire to drive the development of the tourism industry within the Murray region.
For further information visit www.visitthemurray.com.au