One of the star attractions for tourists is whale watching. Picture: Jonas Liebschner/Whale Watching Sydney
One of the star attractions for tourists is whale watching. Picture: Jonas Liebschner/Whale Watching Sydney

Two big drawcards brings millions of visitors to NSW

WHALES and wine have helped lure hordes of interstate holiday-makers to NSW and put the state at the top of the tourism charts.

Sydney again beat Melbourne to claim the title as the number one travel spot around the country, cracking more than 10 million visitors­.

NSW recorded highest growth in domestic tourism numbers and spend around the country as 32.9 million Australians flocked to holiday in the state.

Spending increased by a massive 15 per cent to $19.8 billion off the back of a 9 per cent increase in visitors.

Brisbane couple Kelsie and Eamon Viner took a trip to the Hunter Valley after hearing from friends about the scenery. Picture: Supplied
Brisbane couple Kelsie and Eamon Viner took a trip to the Hunter Valley after hearing from friends about the scenery. Picture: Supplied

Other tourism hot spots included Central NSW, North Coast, South Coast and Hunter Valley which have all seen strong growth in domestic visitor numbers and also in spending figures.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the state benefited from its great range of attractions.

 

 

"Whether it be wine tasting in the Hunter, bushwalking in the Snowy Mountains or whale watching off Eden - there is no shortage of unique experiences and adventures to be had in NSW," he said.

"Natural beauty is one of our greatest assets and it's great to see Australians are fully taking advantage of the natural diversity our country has to offer."

 

New South Wales is definitely worth a visit.
New South Wales is definitely worth a visit.

 

Brisbane couple Kelsie and Eamon Viner decided to take a break in the Hunter this week after hearing from friends that it was a "scenically beautiful place".

"It has absolutely lived up to our expectations and we didn't realise just how many wineries are here - there are vines everywhere," Mrs Viner said.

Mr Birmingham said more Australians were turning to nature and the great outdoors for their holidays.

"Trips that included bushwalking increased 14 per cent to 12.4 million. Visits to national or state parks were up 12 per cent to 11.8 million, while visits to the beach were up 5 per cent to 23.8 million," he said.

 

The Central Coast is also one of the popular spots for visitors. Picture: Jenny Evans
The Central Coast is also one of the popular spots for visitors. Picture: Jenny Evans

 

He said the past financial year was the first time the number of overnight trips taken by Australians at home had reached the 100 million mark.

"This is an impressive result for our tourism industry with more Aussies holidaying at home and for longer, while also spending record amounts."

Mr Birmingham said one in 13 Australians were employed in the tourism industry and these results would help to create more jobs which was supported by the government's record funding to Tourism Australia.