The latest tourism statistics show the number of visitors to the Murray River region is continuing to grow, increasing by 13.9 per cent, according to Murray Regional Tourism.
Tourism Research Australia’s quarterly statistics for the year ending December 2016 showed the Murray region received 63600 international overnight visitors.
MRT chief executive Mark Francis said it was heartening to see such strong growth in the international visitor market, which spent $55million in the region in the December quarter.
‘‘There was sustained growth, despite the challenges of blue-green algae, flooding and mosquitoes in 2016. It is an indication of the quality of the Murray’s diverse range of experiences on offer that continue to attract international visitors,’’ he said.
Domestically, nearly 2.6million overnight visitors came to the Murray, up by 0.09 per cent, and they spent more than $1billion in the region, while 2.6million domestic day trip travellers visited the region, up 1.6 per cent, spending $357million.
Eating out and dining was the most popular activity undertaken by visitors at 55.6 per cent, closely followed by visiting friends and relatives (40.1 per cent), visiting pubs, clubs and discos (27.3 per cent) and sightseeing (21.5 per cent).
Sun Country — including the Cobram-Barooga region — received 516000 visitors (up 3.9 per cent on 2015) with these visitors spending more than 1.3million nights in the area.
International visitors increased 6.2 per cent on 2015 to 6800.
Holiday was the main purpose of visitors to the region (54.2 per cent) and domestic overnight visitors spent $201million in the region during this time.
MRT works in partnership with Visit Victoria, Destination New South Wales and 13 local government areas and regional tourism associations to drive the development of the tourism industry in the Murray region.