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Backpacker 'billions' boost Australian tourism

Backpackers holidaying and working in Australia put nearly $3bn into the economy last year, according to the latest research into international visitors.
07 March 2007
In total, 545,000 backpackers visited Australia in 2006 and spent an extra $482 million that the previous 12 months.

"Backpackers injected $2.8 billion in Australia last year," said Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.

"This is money directly spent in local shops, pubs and hotels. Backpackers also visit throughout Australia, injecting millions into regional communities."

"Increasing numbers of well-heeled backpackers who have plenty of money to spend are discovering Australia. They are spending their money throughout Australia and creating plenty of jobs along the way."

Overall tourist figures for last year show that despite the number of arrivals remaining static, spend and the length of stay has increased to boost tourism in Australia.

The arrivals statistics show 5.1m visitors to Australia last year and an overall tourist spend of $19.5bn, up $1.8bn. The average time tourists spent in Australia also increased by 3.6 nights or 14 per cent on the previous year.

Significant investment ($216m) from the Federal Government in promoting Australia in traditional overseas markets such as the UK and Europe, particularly through its controversial "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You" advertising campaign, has helped lure more high net worth tourists to Australia, argues Bailey.

“International tourists spent an extra $1.8 billion in Australia last year. This is $1.8 billion more being spent in hotels, shops and restaurants right across Australia. This is creating plenty of new jobs in our vibrant tourism industry,"

"Today's results demonstrate that the So Where the Bloody Hell Are You? campaign is beginning to cut through. It is helping to attract more big spending tourists to our shops and shores. This is happening thanks to the Australian Government's strong investment in the tourism industry."