Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3095 ..
MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question and for her ongoing interest in Canberra’s tourism industry. I remind members that our target for 2020 is to achieve $2.5 billion in expenditure in the territory economy. I am pleased to report that the territory is on track to achieve that.
Tourism currently delivers just a fraction short of $2.1 billion into our economy in both domestic and international overnight visitor expenditure. That is the money spent by visitors in the ACT economy. This represents 84 per cent of the $2.5 billion target. The latest national visitor survey data, released in June, showed a 16.3 per cent annual increase in the domestic visitor spend, creating a new record for the ACT of $1.57 billion expended in our economy by domestic visitors. Visitors increased to 2.5 million.
I am particularly pleased to see a strong area of growth in those who come to Canberra for a holiday. Overnight visitors are up by 50 per cent in that category. There was also very pleasing growth out of Victoria, particularly Melbourne, aligning with the growth of low-cost flights between the two cities, particularly now with Tigerair providing eight services a week between Canberra and Melbourne.
MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, what recent announcements will assist in delivering additional tourists?
MR BARR: The expansion of airline services to Canberra airport is clearly a driver of increased tourism output, as well as investments in more hotels. Particularly, and perhaps not that well understood, the increase in international students studying in our city—with the prospect of a new university or an expanded university campus in the CBD—will have a big impact on the visitor economy.
Virgin and Tiger Airlines have both recently announced additional domestic services: Virgin connecting Canberra and Perth, and Tiger connecting Canberra and Melbourne and Brisbane. Tiger has grown substantially to now provide over 200,000 seats annually through Canberra Airport. We have also seen success recently with Pialligo Estate leading the way on international air freight exports through Canberra airport and Singapore Airlines.
It is worth noting that the additional university for Canberra, with up to 10,000 international students, will lead to a huge growth in what is coined the visiting friends and relatives segment of the tourism market. The ACT government will continue to support these initiatives and to market our city through the one good thing after another marketing platform.
MS LEE: Chief Minister, what work has been done or investment made by the ACT government to grow ecotourism to contribute to the Canberra tourist industry?
MR BARR: Ecotourism is an important, although not significant, part of the total territory tourism offering. Our national capital status, national institutions and the like drive more tourist visitation. But in recent times, investments in the Tidbinbilla nature