ACT visitor numbers on rise
More Australians are spending their holidays in Canberra, according to new statistics.
Tourism Research Australia's latest National Visitor Survey found that 1.93 million Australians spent the night in Canberra over the 12 months ending June 2012.
It's a significant increase from the capital's 1.75 million domestic overnight guests the previous year.
Tourism Minister Andrew Barr said exhibitions such as Renaissance and Handwritten contributed to the increase in visitors to the capital.
''The biggest gains in visitor numbers were in the first half of this calendar year, when both blockbuster exhibitions were held at the National Gallery of Australia and National Library of Australia,'' he said.
''Given the proven success that blockbusters have in driving increased visitor numbers, the ACT government will continue to support these exhibitions through investments by the Special Event Fund. Toulouse-Lautrec: Paris to the Moulin Rouge, which begins at the National Gallery of Australia in December, is the latest exhibition to receive funding.''
The figures from Tourism Research Australia found that visiting friends and family was the most common reason for overnight visitors in the capital, accounting for 697,000 people. Business and holiday makers were close behind, at 559,000 and 548,000 people respectively.
Most overnight guests stayed in motels or motor inns, housing 981,000 or 51 per cent of visitors. Friends and family were a close second, housing 765,000 guests or 40 per cent.
Domestic day visitors to the capital spend an average of $169 each per day, the highest in the country.
Meanwhile domestic overnight visitors stayed an average of three nights in the capital and spent an average of $206 a night, cheaper than Melbourne at $301 and Sydney at $250. Stephanie Anderson