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Regional tourism triumphs for Australians holidaying at home

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Growth in domestic travel is outpacing international trips.

Aussies love to explore their own backyard. The trend for domestic holidays is currently growing at the fastest pace on record and has again surpassed growth in international trips, according to new research.

Deloitte Access Economics' Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook August 2016 reveals domestic holidays grew around 9% year-on-year, adding 3 million additional trips to the domestic holiday market.

Domestic spending figures fell slightly through the year, however, increased visitor numbers guaranteed overall expenditure to rise. This growth was led by corporate travel.

But one of the most interesting figures is the accelerating trend for visiting regional holiday hotspots. Growth in travel to regional destinations was almost double (9.1%) the growth rate of holidays to capital cities (5.9%).

Areas such as Northern Queensland and NSW's Tropical Coast attracted more than half a million additional visitors annually, while regions including south west Western Australia and Victoria's High Country enjoyed double digit growth in 2016.

The report also highlights the robust growth in air traffic to regional (9%) and leisure (10%) areas over the last three years. Comparatively, inter-capital routes grew at around half the pace (5%) over the same period.

When it comes to the most popular states, Western Australia (13%) and the Northern Territory (37%) recorded double digit growth in the number of visitor trips received.

Regional areas of WA grew visitors by 17.3% in the last 12 months, with the south west (22%) taking the lion's share of tourism.

Visitation to New South Wales (6.2%) also grew, with the state's north coast boasting the greatest number of additional trip-makers (586,000). Other regional areas, such as the New England West region (14%) also enjoyed healthy year-on-year gains.

Late last month, Roy Morgan Research reported Aussie travellers were ditching the bars, big hotels and beaches of Sydney for a more relaxing, resplendent and recreational holiday in regional NSW.

In Victoria, regional tourism (8.1%) grew steadily over the last year, with Gippsland (26%) and the High Country (22%) witnessing the highest levels of growth.

Tropical North Queensland saw a 3.3% boost in arrivals as a result of recently introduced Singapore flights and additional travellers from Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Favourable currency conversion rates led to Japan being one of the more popular outbound destinations, while travel to both Turkey and France fell, owing to security concerns.

When planning your next domestic or international holiday be sure to compare all the different types of travel insurance to make sure you find the best option available.

Picture: Shutterstock

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