Interview on Today Show, Channel 9

  • Transcript, E&OE
Topics: Latest international Visitor and National Visitor Survey results (Sept 2018 quarter).
09 January 2019

Presenter: …this is good news forregional Australia?

SimonBirmingham: Thisis awesome news for regional Australia. You know we spent $113 billion dollarsfrom tourism-related activity injected into Australia in 2018, and that'sfuelled by around eight point four million international visitors. And it'sjust great to see them getting out and seeing even more of Australia, gettingout into our regions. And around 43 cents in every dollar spent in tourism isestimated to be spent in regional Australia which of course just fuels jobs,small businesses, our pubs, accommodation providers as well as many attractionsright across the country.

Presenter: So which regional areasare benefiting from this newfound love affair with the outback and our coastaltowns?

SimonBirmingham: We'veseen quite strong regional growth in many parts of Australia and Tasmania isabsolutely booming which is great news for the Apple Isle. But we also seestrong growth around parts of regional Victoria, coastal tourism there alongthe Great Ocean Road. But really right across different states, my home statehere South Australia, strong regional growth and out into the regional parts ofNew South Wales.

Presenter: We know this gloriousCountry of ours pretty much sells itself but we've also had to help us a coupleof Hemsworth's too haven't we minister?

SimonBirmingham: Wehave had the Hemsworth brothers out there as part of our Dundee campaign in theUS and some of our traditional markets as well as we've got the new 'UndiscoverAustralia' campaign in some of our emerging markets of South-East Asia such asIndonesia and Thailand. It's really important that we keep building new marketopportunities, we already see huge growth out of China and India but we'redetermined to make sure through our government's record investment in tourismmarketing, that we keep seizing new opportunities to keep those tourist dollarsflowing into Australia.

Presenter: And we really can'tunderestimate as well the impact that tourism dollars makes on our countrytowns particularly for those areas that have been so affected by this drought?

SimonBirmingham: Itis critical, of course regional Australia is a much more diverse economy thanoften we give it credit for. Yes there's the strength of agriculture and itssignificance and of course mining industries as well, but the tourist sectorfuels so many jobs in regional Australia. And it's also great, in the latestdata analysis of 2018 to see how many Australian domestic travellers aregetting out into the bush, into our regions and also supporting our countrycousins in terms of job and employment and business opportunities in thosecountry communities.

Presenter: Yet it is absolutelyfantastic and why wouldn't you want to soak up the glorious sights of thisgreat country of ours? Simon Birmingham thank you very much for your time thismorning and a very happy New Year to you and your family.

SimonBirmingham: Andto you, thanks so much guys.

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