Page 1252 - Week 04 - Thursday, 21 March 2013

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suburbs, not just one suburb. That is the purpose of a group centre. Clearly there are a range of suburbs around Amaroo that are very new and that is the catchment that makes a group centre like Amaroo, given its particular location, viable.

Tourism—visitor numbers

MS BERRY: My question is to the minister for tourism. Minister, could you please update the Assembly on the national visitor survey results released this morning?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Berry for the question. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that in 2012 the territory saw an 8.6 per cent increase in domestic overnight visitors to 1,955,000. This increase compares very favourably with the national increase of 3.6 per cent. Visitor nights in the territory for 2012 increased by 14.3 per cent, up from just a tick over five million to 5.72 million. Nationally, there was a 4.1 per cent increase compared with our 14.3 per cent increase. The average length of stay in the territory tipped up close to three nights. This outcome has been particularly driven by an increase in visiting friends and relatives, up by nearly 23 per cent. That is one of the categories within the national visitor survey. 758,000 people came to the territory in 2012 to visit friends and relatives.

What has been particularly pleasing to note here is that those visits do tend to correlate with major events and activities within the national capital. So Canberrans are certainly being fantastic ambassadors for their city and inviting their friends and relatives to come and visit to enjoy some of the fantastic events, festivals and activities that are part of our annual calendar. And that is very encouraging to see. Equally, those visiting Canberra for business increased by 13.4 per cent, to nearly 620,000. That is, again, a fantastic outcome and credit, there, to the hard work of the Canberra Convention Bureau.

The ACT’s combined number of domestic overnight visitors in the holiday and leisure and VFR sectors for the year ending December 2012 was 1.22 million, which is up 7.3 per cent on the previous year. And this is a very good outcome for the tourism industry in the ACT.

MS BERRY: Supplementary question, Madam Acting Speaker.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Supplementary, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what are some of the initiatives that have helped boost these figures for the year ended December 2012?

MR BARR: Certainly, a number of major events during 2012 have contributed. The Renaissance exhibition, which attracted over 213,000 visitors and contributed $75 million to the territory economy, making it the second most popular exhibition ever staged at the National Gallery of Australia, was clearly a driver.

Equally, the handwritten exhibition at the National Library, which was opened in the first third of 2012, brought an estimated $18.6 million to the territory economy and attracted a record 73,000 visitors to the library. The Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition has

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