SYLVIA JEFFREYS: We're not the only ones who love Australia, the whole world does. A new survey released this morning shows tourism is at an all-time high with visitors spending more than 100 billion dollars on Aussie holidays over the past year. For all the details we're joined now by Trade and Tourism Minster Steve Ciobo. Good morning to you Minister.
STEVEN CIOBO: Good morning, Sylvia.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: This is great news for tourism operators, isn't it? What exactly does the report tell us?
STEVEN CIOBO: Look, it is great news because what the survey's showing is that we've got an increase in visitation across the board. We have, in summary, more tourists staying longer and spending more than they ever have and the great news about that Sylvia, is it's helping to drive our economy and it's helping to create jobs for Australians.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: It's great to see too, a huge portion of that 100 billion comes from domestic visitors. So Australians loving Australia as much as international tourists. Where are you seeing the largest growth at the moment?
STEVEN CIOBO: The great news behind this story is the dispersal. It's not just people that are holidaying in Sydney and Melbourne, they're actually getting out to the regions and the biggest increase was Tasmania. Over the last three years, spending in Tasmania has increased by 54 per cent. If you look at the total number of visitors, for example, in Western Australia they've increased by 28 per cent over the past three years. So some real stand out performers when it comes to both international and Aussies that are choosing to holiday here in Australia.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: It's good to see. Can you tell us quickly Minister, or give us an update perhaps, on how things are going around the Whitsunday's region where a lot of operators were hit quite hard by Cyclone Debbie?
STEVEN CIOBO: You know, I'm really grateful because you guys have maintained a constant interest in how that part of the world's going and the news is good. I mean, Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday's, most of the resorts are up and going again and many Aussies have rallied to the cry to help out their fellow Aussies by going up there for holidays. There's still some resorts that are closed down, but one of my jobs is to try to encourage more investment back into the region to get those resorts back up on their feet.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: No doubt that will happen very quickly. I was very lucky to check it out over the weekend actually, and will do again this weekend. So I'll report back to you with some more information shorty.
STEVEN CIOBO: Good on you.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Minister, thank you.
BEN FORDHAM: Why don't we get the Minister Steve Ciobo to do a Lara Bingle, "Where the bloody hell are you?" style campaign on the beach somewhere in the Whitsundays? Minister, you should be fronting this campaign.
STEVEN CIOBO: You know what, I don’t look great in a bikini. I'm just going to put that our there. I'm not sure that's-
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Boardies are fine, Minister. We're fine with that.
BEN FORDHAM: We prefer the budgies. Thanks for your time. Steve Ciobo joining us from Parliament House.
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