Domestic and international visitors have made their choice and reaffirmed NSW as Australia’s premier tourism state, with the latest independent survey results for the year ending September 2018 showing it to be the most popular destination for both groups.

Member for Murray Austin Evans said the results were fantastic news for the Riverina and Murray.

“Our beautiful region welcomed 1.2 million domestic tourists and 26,500 international travellers in the Riverina and 1.1 million domestic tourists and 29,800 international travellers in Murray,” Mr Evans said.

“The number of domestic visitors to the Riverina grew by more than 16 per cent compared to the previous year, and they spent $479 million during their stay, an increase of 56 per cent.

“Murray recorded an increase in the number of international visitors of more than 12.2%. Those visitors spent $1.7 million, which is nearly a 20 per cent increase on the previous year.

“This is wonderful news for our local industry and means more heads on hotel beds, people in our restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops, spending money and driving our local visitor economy,” he said.

“Tourism is all about encouraging people to see and experience more of our stunning region and ensuring they have a great time, but it’s also critical to sustaining business and creating new jobs.”

“We want to ensure tourism continues to thrive in our region to ensure everyone reaps the benefit of having visitors from far and wide spend their hard earned vacations and valuable tourism dollars right here.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said NSW was in a golden era.

“These impressive numbers are turbocharging our economy, generating jobs and driving investment in local communities as tourists yet again choose to visit NSW ahead of all other states,” Mr Marshall said.

“Internationally, NSW received 4.3 million visitors who stayed 95.5 million nights and spent $10.6 billion.

“Domestically, we welcomed 33.6 million overnight visitors who stayed 105.1 million nights and for the first time ever, these visitors spent more than $20 billion.

The National and International Visitor Surveys are released by Tourism Research Australia. For more on the survey results for year ending September 2018, visit www.tra.gov.au