Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has welcomed the release of today’s National Visitor Survey (NVS) which showed that out of a total domestic tourism spend of $62.6 billion for the year ending June 2017, 16 percent was spent on restaurant and takeaway meals.

Overall, domestic tourists’ spend on restaurant and takeaway meals exceeded $10 billion for the year ending June 2017, up from $9.1 billion for the year ending June 2016. This represented a 10.2 percent increase in this expenditure subcategory which was the second highest out of all subcategories following accommodation.

R&CA CEO Juliana Payne said that the growth in domestic tourists’ spend on restaurant and takeaway meals highlighted major preferences in the ways that Australians are choosing to spend their holidays.

“Today’s NVS data clearly shows that Australians are increasingly putting dining out at the top of their priorities list when travelling or on holidays,” says Payne.

“This shouldn’t come as any surprise given the outstanding array of cuisines and restaurants on offer which R&CA will be acknowledging as part of our national awards night in a few weeks’ time.”

Payne also said that the growth in expenditure on restaurants and takeaway meals underscored the importance of continued government investment in tourism marketing campaigns.

“It is essential for us not to take this growth for granted and to let a sense of complacency set in,” she says.

“Whilst the hospitality industry is currently thriving, there is a strong need for governments at both a federal and state and territory level to continue their investments in tourism marketing campaigns to deliver these sorts of returns we’ve become accustomed to.

“Despite impressive growth in sector turnover, there are still a raft of issues affecting the business operating environment for cafés and restaurants. At the top of this list is having access to skilled workers such as cooks, chefs and café and restaurant managers.

“Without access to these crucial professions, the ability of Australia’s cafés and restaurants to continually draw the tourist dollar is put at risk.”

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