Victoria a hit with international visitors

Figures show Victoria is one of the most popular regions in Australia with visitors from oversees.

Tourism figures released recently show that Vic’s share of international visitors to Australia is at its highest level in 15 years, and visitor numbers and expenditure grew more than any other state over the past year.

The quarterly International Visitor Survey results show that international overnight visitors to Vic increased by 1.2 per cent over the previous year to reach 1.5 million, while international visitor expenditure grew by 10.6 per cent to $3.4 billion.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said international visitor growth in Vic continues to be above the national average and above key competitors NSW and Qld.

"Growing visitor numbers are a testament to the strength of the Victorian tourism industry which provides jobs for almost 180,000 people and contributes $15 billion to our economy each year," he said.

Key results from the survey include:

• Vic attracted 29 per cent of international visitors to Australia;

• Regional visitation increased by 5.3 per cent;

• International visitor numbers from China grew 17.6 per cent;

• Vic and WA were the only states to have growth in visitor numbers, with the national average decreasing by 0.5 per cent, NSW decreasing by 1.4 per cent and Qld decreasing by four per cent.

Vic’s strongest growth areas in visitor numbers were the Grampians, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.

Mr Holding said that China, Malaysia, India and other Asian countries were contributing to the growth.

"Visiting friends and relatives and education were the top two growth sectors for international visitation to Victoria," he said. "Melbourne is now the second-largest city in the world for enrolled international higher education students."