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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 383..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

organisation, and I would ask that he have as much respect for people who have experience in that area as they have for him in his area.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, why do you continue to ignore professional advice and community opinion about the structure of the ESA?

MR CORBELL: I would not regard Mr Jeffrey's advice in relation to the ESA as professional advice.

Tourism

MS PORTER: My question is to the minister for tourism. Can the minister please inform the Assembly of the latest international visitor survey results and the impact of international tourists on the ACT economy?

MR BARR: I am pleased to advised the Assembly that yesterday Tourism Research Australia released the latest international visitor survey results for 2006. I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the survey provides some very good news for the ACT. The survey shows that there have been increases in total expenditure, visitor nights, expenditure per visitor, expenditure per night and average length of stay, as well as an increase in visitation from South East Asia, one of our main target markets. That is extremely positive news for the ACT economy and for Canberra as a tourism destination.

I can advise the Assembly that international visitors to Canberra stayed for a total of 2,277,460 nights in 2006, up a massive 28.6 per cent on the 2005 result. The average length of stay for international visitors who came to the ACT for a holiday was 4.9 nights in 2006, up from 3.3 nights in 2005. A total of 37,242 international backpackers visited the ACT in 2006, representing a 16 per cent increase compared with 2005.

The ACT government has been targeting markets in South East Asia. For example, last year we launched our first ever consumer awareness campaign in Singapore. The campaign included print, online, outdoor and cinema advertising components introducing Canberra to Singaporeans and using Floriade to position the look and feel of our experiences. Four major travel agencies in Singapore partnered the ACT in the promotion by providing Canberra destination and package information on the spot.

The survey shows we are getting a good return on this investment. There has once again been an increase in visitors from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. This market has developed to be the third highest in terms of visitation to the ACT, surpassing New Zealand and China. In a speech to the Tourism Industry Council's state of tourism lunch in September last year the then acting leader of the opposition, Mr Mulcahy, criticised the tourism investment in Singapore, but we can see from these figures very positive results for the ACT.

It is particularly important to note that the latest figures demonstrate a direct link between increased length of stay and increased expenditure. The figures show total expenditure of $225 million in 2006, up from $129 million in 2005. This is excellent


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