Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today heralded a golden era in tourism as survey results showed visitors are flocking to the Cootamundra electorate.

Domestic and international holidaymakers not only chose NSW as their favourite part of Australia to visit, they also flocked to the Riverina.

Ms Cooke said the results were fantastic news for businesses in the Riverina and Cootamundra electorate.

“Our beautiful Riverina region welcomed 1.2 million domestic tourists and 26,500 international travellers, and that’s fantastic news for our local industry,” Ms Cooke said.

“The number of domestic visitors to the Riverina grew by more than 16 per cent compared to the previous year, and they spent $479 million during their stay, an increase of 56.6 per cent.

“This means more heads on hotel beds, more people in our restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops, spending money and driving our local visitor economy.

“Tourism is all about encouraging people to see and experience more of our stunning region and ensuring they have a great time, but it’s also critical to sustaining business and creating new jobs.

“We want to ensure tourism continues to thrive in our region to make sure everyone reaps the benefit of having visitors from far and wide spend their hard earned vacations and valuable tourism dollars right here,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said NSW was in a golden era.

“These impressive numbers are turbocharging our economy, generating jobs and driving investment in local communities as tourists yet again choose to visit NSW ahead of all other states,” Mr Marshall said.

“Internationally, NSW received 4.3 million visitors who stayed 95.5 million nights and spent $10.6 billion.

“Domestically, we welcomed 33.6 million overnight visitors who stayed 105.1 million nights and for the first time ever, these visitors spent more than $20 billion.

“The results speak to the broad appeal of NSW; we really do have something for everyone, with our Sydney icons and city skyline, renowned beaches and waterways, outback and bush adventures, world-class food and wine, and impressive major events calendar.”

The National and International Visitor Surveys are released by Tourism Research Australia. For more on the survey results for year ending September 2018, visit www.tra.gov.au