ACT Tourism Hangover Evident After Centenary

Days after a damning Commsec report rating the ACT as the second worst economy in the nation, new figures show the tourism industry is a major casualty in Canberra, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Arts Brendan Smyth said today.

“Tourism Research Australia’s State of the Industry October 2014 Report exposes the government’s lack of planning to improve tourism following Canberra’s Centenary celebrations,” Mr Smyth said.

“The picture for the ACT includes the following worsening figures for 2013-14:

  • Domestic overnight expenditure decreased by 11.4%.
  • Trips to the ACT decreased by 1.7%.
  • Domestic overnight visitations decreased by 16.4%.
  • Average per night expenditure decreased by 17.4%.

“These figures represent the hangover that occurs when you fail to plan to capitalise on the 100th anniversary celebration, and when after 13 years you have failed to build a new convention centre to boost Canberra’s economy.

“They are also in stark contrast to an overall 3.6% increase across the country.

“The figures are made even more alarming, given that overall national figures for domestic overnight travel were largely positive across the holiday, visiting friends and relatives, and business tourism segments.

“Unfortunately, this is expected given the ACT government failed to capitalise on the $30 million spend for the Centenary year. In the end it will be the small businesses which rely on tourism trade that will suffer,” Mr Smyth concluded.