CANBERRA — Domestic and international travellers spent a record 121.2 billion dollars on tourism in Australia in the year ending March 2017, according to Tourism Research Australia (TRA).

The results of the latest National Visitors Survey, published by the government-run TRA, showed that Aussies were increasingly choosing to holiday at home, with the domestic overnight trip spend increasing by 6 percent compared with the previous year to reach a record 61.7 billion dollars — more than half of the total visitor expenditure for the year.

International visitor expenditure also increased from 37.9 billion Australian dollars (USD 28.64 billion) in the year ending March 2016 to 39.8 billion dollars in the year ending March 2017.

The remaining 19.6 billion dollars was contributed by Australians making day trips, meaning, overall total visitor expenditure increased by 5 percent in the year ending March 2016.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said that Australians were continuing to prop up the local economy, with more locals choosing to holiday Interstate than ever before.

He said domestic overnight trip spend had almost doubled from the year ending March 2000, when domestic tourists spent 33.5 billion dollars on local holidays.

“The reality is that if we have Australians who are holidaying at home more often it’s helping to boost the Australian economy and it’s helping out other Aussies,” Ciobo said in comments posted by the Nine Network.

“What we’re seeing is a record number of visitors both international and domestic, record spending and record length of stay.

“That’s great news for the Australian economy and great news for those workers employed in the tourism industry.”(Xinhua)

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