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Visitors provide record boon to local economy

Thursday 30 May 2024

Tourism delivered a record $1.218 billion to the Albury Wodonga economy in 2023 according to a Visitor Economy Trends report recently presented to AlburyCity and Wodonga councils.

The report, from the two councils’ tourism arm, Visit Albury Wodonga, says the 2023 figures represent a 5% increase in the economic impact of tourism over the previous year.

This includes an increase of 8% in the number of overnight visitors to Albury Wodonga to 861,000 and an additional 6% in domestic day trip visitors to 927,000.

International visits are not included in the report because of limited data availability due to the COVID-19 recovery.

Of the $1.218 billion, the report attributes approximately $658 million to the immediate increase in spending and jobs created by tourism, with the remaining $560 million encompassing the flow-on spending in the local economy.

Albury Mayor Kylie King said the report was welcome news for Albury Wodonga and the wider region.

“This shows we continue to grow and thrive as a tourism destination as people renew their interest in exploring and travelling post the pandemic,” she said.

Wodonga Mayor Cr Ron Mildren acknowledged the role the visitor economy plays in the region.

“We are in a competitive market, and it’s really pleasing to see that we’re growing our market share because that ultimately benefits the entire community,” he said.

The report provides valuable data on key motivators for visitation to Albury Wodonga, experiences that resonate with travellers and how best to support the local tourism industry.

It uses data from Austrade’s Tourism Research Australia, which is sourced from national and international visitor surveys, the Destination Visitor Survey Program and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Information from REMPLAN, an independent agency providing economic and employment industry data, is also included.

The report points to the return of high-profile events such as the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup ($4.64 million) and Chryslers on the Murray ($2.49 million) as a significant factor in the post-pandemic recovery.

“It’s been terrific to see some of our biggest events return after the hiatus caused by previous pandemic restrictions, signifying a return to the vibrancy of a full events calendar,” Mayor Mildren said.

Mayor King said the economic benefits of tourism events to Albury Wodonga could not be underestimated.

“In addition to the major tourism events, 2023 saw an increase in business conferences and sporting carnivals to Albury Wodonga, as well as mid-sized events including Riverside Vibes and Australian Formula Powerboat Grand Prix that attract and increase visitation to our cities,” she said.

The full report is available on the Visit Albury Wodonga website.