New data shows Australians are starting to head back to the regions

  • Joint media release
  • Senator The Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
  • Senator The Hon Jonno Duniam, Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries
11 September 2020

Regional tourism rebounded by over $1 billion in the month of June, according to new monthly figures released today by Tourism Research Australia (TRA).

The data shows there were more than 5.4 million domestic visitors in the month of June, an increase of more than 2.35 million visitors on May, with the majority of these travelling intrastate to regional locations.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that whilst the data showed the lifting of some restrictions had led to an uptick in tourism activity in intrastate travel, many tourism businesses, particularly those in larger cities and those popular with international or interstate visitors were still doing it incredibly tough.

“Regional Australia is home to many of our incredible tourism locations and experiences, and it’s encouraging to see Australians are rallying behind our industry and taking regional trips,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This data demonstrates that Australians are willing and eager to travel where it’s safe to do so, which is a reminder that excessive border restrictions are limiting the jobs recovery in some communities and businesses.

“We know many of our regions have been hit hard with the bushfires, drought, floods and now the COVID-19 pandemic, and the more economic and tourism activity that occurs, the quicker they can rebound and get back on their feet.

“We also shouldn’t forget the thousands of jobs with tour operators, event management companies, accommodation providers, airlines or airports in our bigger cities who depend on international or interstate visitors. 

“I urge Australians who are in a position to do so, to take a staycation, organise an offsite business meeting at venue or for those who live in the bush, to book a weekend away in the big smoke as this could help to save a tourism business or the job of an Australian.

“Our $50 million Business Events Grants program, announced today, is designed to generate tourism activity in our bigger cities and support venues, caterers and inner city accommodation providers.”

“Whilst our Government’s economic support, which includes the extension of JobKeeper has been a lifeline for thousands of tourism businesses, the best support for our industry is still getting people travelling around Australia and taking interstate trips.

“That’s why I continue to urge all state and territory leaders to take a sensible and proportionate approach to border restrictions, and consider adopting a nationally consistent hotspot approach to the movement of Australians.”

Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism Jonno Duniam said Australians were getting behind local businesses by holidaying at home.

“This data shows Australians are clearly backing their regional tourism industry, with spending up nearly $1 billion outside of the gateway cities in the month of June, compared with May,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Interstate and intrastate visitation increased by more than 77 per cent from May to June, as restrictions eased in many parts of the country.

“While our international borders remain closed, it’s incredible to see the beginnings of domestic tourism and traveling to our regions driving Australia’s tourism recovery.

“Regional tourism is the lifeblood of many Australian cities, towns and communities, and it’s so important this trend continues and Australians continue to holiday at home."

The latest National Visitor Survey monthly results are available on the Tourism Research Australia website.

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