GEORGIE GARDNER: Joining us from Sydney is Tourism Minister, Steve Ciobo, good morning to you.
STEVEN CIOBO: Good morning guys!
GEORGIE GARDNER: Steve, tell us more, where are tourists visiting the most?
STEVEN CIOBO: This is a great result, Georgie. What it shows is we've got such strong growth in Australia's tourism industry. We saw 6 per cent growth over the last year. That's an extra $2.2 billion flowing into the Australian economy, helping to support the 600,000 jobs in Australia's tourism industry. Of course, the gateway cities of Sydney and Melbourne do really well. But 840,000 visitors to the Great Barrier Reef, over 100,000 went to the Barossa wine region, and even, Georgie, 185,000 went and visited Parliament house.
GEORGIE GARDNER: Yeah, and a lot of them are loving Hobart, I notice as well, and Tasmania. Who are they? Who are the biggest international spenders?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well our biggest spenders are the Chinese as a segment of international inbound tourists. They spent over $10.4 billion. It's a really valuable segment. We have now direct access from 17 cities in China, directly into Australia. They're helping to really drive this wave of growth in Australia's tourism industry. You're right, Georgie. Tasmania's growth has been extraordinarily strong. It's grown by 90 per cent in the last three years.
GEORGIE GARDNER: Where else has there been big growth? Which other centres?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well we continue to see, of course, Australia really well-placed. Tasmania is the standout but we've got strong growth that's occurring in all markets. That's part of why the tourism industry in this country is generating so much extra export income and also, more importantly, generating extra jobs for Australians who work in the industry where we get to say "G’day" to international visitors.
GEORGIE GARDNER: Are we doing enough as a country to really tap into this booming industry?
STEVEN CIOBO: Look, we are. We're providing record funding as a Government to Tourism Australia. Of course, you would have seen recently the brand new campaign in the North American market we had Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie, a stellar cast. That's really promoting Australia to the North American market, great success out of that. And I really fundamentally see the results of all this work because now we're getting, you know, record numbers of tourists staying for record length of time and spending a record amount of money.
GEORGIE GARDNER: Let's hope it continues to grow. We appreciate your time this morning, Steve Ciobo. Thank you very much.
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