Tourism numbers leap 14% in 2016

April 11, 2017

Moama RSL promotions manager Garry Armstrong.

THE Murray is on a roll – tourist numbers in the region just keep going up, with Murray Regional Tourism reporting 63,600 international visitors to December 2016.

That’s up a big 13.9 per cent on the previous 12 months.

And to hammer home the local message of Echuca-Moama’s pulling power, Moama RSL promotions manager Garry Armstrong said it filled 110 seats on the MV Mary Ann last weekend as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, featuring celebrity chef Matt Wilkinson.

“The most exciting part about the day was that after a search through the bookings we received for this event, we did not have one booking postcode of 3564 for Echuca,” Mr Armstrong said.

“They came from all over the place, and a lot from Melbourne, for the weekend, which was a win for us and a win for the region,” he said.

Murray Regional Tourism (MRT) chief executive Mark Francis said there was sustained growth, despite the challenges of blue green algae, flooding and mosquitoes in 2016.

He said it was an indication of the quality of the Murray’s diverse range of experiences on offer that continue to attract international visitors.

“It is heartening to see such strong growth in the international visitor market, which spent $55 million in the region in the December 2016 quarter,” Mr Francis said.

Domestically, nearly 2.6 million overnight visitors came to the Murray in 2016, up .09 per cent and they spent more than $1 billion in the region.

While 2.6 million domestic daytrip travellers also visited, an increase of 1.6 per cent and spending $357 million.

‘Eating out and dining’ was the most popular activity undertaken by visitors to the Murray region at 55.6 per cent, closely followed by ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (40.1), ‘visiting pubs, clubs and discos’ (27.3) and ‘sightseeing’ at 21.5 per cent.

Echuca-Moama domestic overnight visitors spent $246 million in the region during the December 2016 quarter, and the post popular activities included ‘eating out’ (49.9 per cent) and visiting friends and relatives (40.1 per cent).

Domestic overnight visitors preferred to stay with ‘friends and relatives’ in Echuca-Moama (27.9 per cent) followed by ‘caravan parks and ‘commercial camping grounds’ (21.5 per cent) and ‘standard hotel or motor inn below 4 star’ (17.6 per cent).

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