Australia’s national tourism agency has released new statistics on how many tourists have travelled to the country in the past 12 months.
The agency said it had recorded a record number of visitors in December.
A total of 2.5 million visitors have travelled, up from 2.4 million in December, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
The figures are a huge boost to tourism, with last year’s record of 2 million tourists also showing an increase of 5 per cent in the number of overseas visits.
Photo: Supplied “This record is particularly encouraging given the global economic climate and the high demand for travel in Australia,” the statement said.
“This is also a time when our economy is growing, the economy of Australia is strong and we continue to attract overseas investment.”
In the latest report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also revealed the number travelled to Australia increased by more than 50 per cent from November to December last year, up to almost 8.6 million.
That was more than triple the annual increase of just over 1.5 per cent.
“Australia’s tourism industry is in a strong position to continue to grow in coming years,” ABS chairwoman of the Tourism and Tourism Industry (TTI) Cathy O’Neill said.
She said that while the number had risen in recent years, it was a good sign that it was becoming more of a “normal” year for overseas visitors.
“Over the past year, our national tourism industry has seen a number of significant and sustained increases in visitors, including the increase of more than 250,000 foreign tourists to Australia in the 12 months to March,” Ms O’Neil said.
The ABS report also found the number who visited Australia in December increased by 1 per cent, and that the number staying in Australia increased in line with the growth in the economy.
The number of people who visited during December increased slightly to 6.2 million, compared to 6 million people who stayed in Australia last year.
The most popular destinations for tourists were Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, followed by Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Adelaide, Adelaide Hills and Adelaide.