TOURISM ON THE RISE IN COUNTRY VICTORIA
More overseas visitors are choosing to spend their time and money in country Victorias thriving regions, according to the latest International Visitor Survey. From the wine country to wide open plains and mountain ranges, Victorias regions continue to attract international overnight visitors in droves with 535,700 travellers an increase of 5.3% coming to our regional tourism hotspots since September last year. Holidaymakers in country Victoria are spending more on wine, gifts and activities up by 18.6 per cent compared to the national average regional growth of 7.2 per cent. Daytrips are proving to be not long enough to enjoy the treasures of regional Victoria, with international nights also increasing by 16.9 per cent to reach 8.2 million. International overnight visitors to the Macedon Ranges and Daylesford, Victoria High Country and the Yarra Valley have all increased significantly over the past three years. Visitors to the Macedon Ranges and Daylesford have grown by 50 per cent since 2014, from 12,000 to 18,000, and over the last 12 months, the number of international overnight visitors has grown by 43.6 per cent. Visitors to the High Country have grown by 65 per cent since 2014, from 20,600 to 34,000, and over the last 12 months, the number of international overnight visitors has increased 10.7 per cent. Visitors to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges has grown 21.7 per cent since 2014 from 38,700 to 47,100 and over the last 12 months the number of international overnight visitors has grown by 3.9 per cent. Major events including music and art festivals, country racing carnivals, national and world sporting championship events, amazing farmers markets and wine/beer/food celebrations are just some of the events that are growing visitation in country Victoria, Ms Symes said. Through the Regional Events Fund and the Regional Tourism and Infrastructure Fund the Andrews Labor Government is investing in country tourism throughout Northern Victoria. Funding from the Andrews Labor Government is helping to develop our country towns into major tourist destinations, driving visitation, boosting regional economies and enhancing the livability of country Victoria. Country Victoria has so much to offer visitors, it is no surprise that our numbers continue to climb, Ms Symes said. Were getting it done we are determined to continue to grow visitation in our regions and the Labor Government is doing everything possible to ensure the regions have the best of everything. Victoria welcomed 535,700 international overnight visitors to regional Victoria who spent $557 million in the 12 months to September, with growth rates above the national regional average for overnight visitors, spend and nights.