Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2973 ..
Mr Coe: Mr Barr's answer was about five minutes of ranting about Liberal Party history. So, yes, feel free to call the opposition to order, but I also ask that the Chief Minister be directly relevant when answering questions.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Coe. Mrs Dunne, a supplementary.
MRS DUNNE: Chief Minister, how many Canberra households have reached the cap of $700 on rates and cannot therefore benefit from further concession because of increases in rates?
MR BARR: I do not have that figure in front of me. I will take it on notice.
MS ORR: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the most recent international visitor statistics?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that we have welcomed a record number of international visitors, with the most recent release of tourism statistics showing that this record number of visitors have spent more time in the capital than any time previously and of course have spent more money. This result is very pleasing because it demonstrates the government's successful efforts in partnership with Canberra airport to attract direct international flights to grow our local tourism industry. The feedback from the tourism sector is overwhelmingly positive as a result of these initiatives.
The number of international overnight visitors climbed to reach almost 250,000. That is a nearly 16 per cent increase from the previous year, and the length of time that our international visitors are staying in Canberra jumped by a record 20.9 per cent to an average of 22 days.
Singapore Airlines' move to provide daily flights from May, as well as the commencement of Qatar Airways flights earlier this year, is a signal of confidence in Canberra as a tourism destination, and we will continue our work with existing airlines who are servicing the Canberra market whilst also engaging with a range of new potential carriers for the ACT market.
Members may not be aware that China is the largest source of international visitors for the ACT, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India. We may in fact have some international visitors from New Zealand with us today.
MS ORR: Chief Minister, what measures has the ACT government taken to continue this growth?
MR BARR: It is very important that we continue to focus on improving transport connections to Canberra to grow our visitor numbers. These figures are the first set to capture a significant portion of the international flights into Canberra, and show that