Best year in three for tourism industry performance

A SURVEY of Australian tourism operators has rated the industry's performance in the December quarter last year the best in three years.

The survey of tourism businesses by peak group Tourism and Transport Forum found operators rated performance the since the survey began in 2011.

Those positive results come as the tourism group prepares for its major annual conference, due to start in Canberra tomorrow.

Results show a confluence of factors creating an improving outlook for tourism, with falling exchange rates as Australia's reputation as a destination rose since the start of 2013.

TTF chief executive Ken Morrison said the tourism industry sentiment survey rated international performance at 139 and domestic at 125, the highest levels since the survey began.

He said the internal industry data backed up recent National Visitors Survey figures showing domestic travellers spent about $1 billion a week last year.

"Tourism has been identified as one of five super-growth sectors capable of contributing an additional $250 billion to the national economy over the next 20 years, given Australia's competitive advantages in this area," Mr Morrison said.

"As the mining investment boom wanes and the Australian economy continues to change, the government will be looking to other sectors to provide job and business opportunities into the future."