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High spending on Phillip Island

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High spending on Phillip Island
While Victoria’s most visited attraction, the little penguins at Phillip Island, continued to play to big crowds via the internet during the pandemic, the local visitor economy took a hit from the lack of physical visitors. That has all changed now, with an 85 per cent boost in visitor spending.

Latest figures to March this year reveal an increase in spending to $839 million, “the most substantial growth in visitor spend among all Victorian regions” when compared with the pre-pandemic March quarter of 2019.  

Matched only by Melbourne’s revenue growth for the quarter, Philip Island’s visitor spend grew 52 per cent in the March 2023 quarter.

While the number of day trippers to the Island was down four per cent on March 2019, the number of overnight visitors – 2.3 million – was 18 per cent higher and the duration of their stay – equating overall to 3.5 million bed nights – rose by 30 per cent in the region which comprises Phillip Island, French Island, and the Bass Coast, running from Wonthaggi to Inverloch.

Domestic day trippers accounted for $157 million of the total visitor spend but the latest quarter’s figures were up 40 per cent on both March 2022 and March 2019.

Located 90 minutes from Melbourne, the 1,835-hectare Phillip Island Nature Parks attract more than 1.3 million visitors a year, including daily coaches of international visitors to its the Penguin Parade, the Antarctic Journey at Nobbies Centre and the Koala Conservation Reserve.

The other major attraction on the Island is its motor raceway which hosts regular meetings, including the Australian Motorcycle GP, which draws in excess of 90,000 visitors across a three-day schedule of events.

Commenting on the results, Destination Phillip Island said: “The data indicates a promising outlook for the region’s visitor economy. Leading the state in visitor nights and overall expenditure growth suggests that more people are willing to invest their money in exploring the attractions and activities the region has to offer over an extended period of time.”

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