NSW is the most popular Australian state for international visitors with 4.1 million arriving from overseas in the past year.

NSW continues to lead Australia in attracting overseas visitors and the tourist dollar, according to new figures released by Tourism Research Australia.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said visitor expenditure in NSW was at an all-time high with record spending fueling the State’s visitor economy.

“A total of 4.1 million people visited NSW from overseas in the past 12 months and they spent a record $10.4 billion during their stay,” Mr Marshall said.

“NSW is the first Australian State to ever achieve these numbers.

“Rural and regional NSW recorded significant growth in both international visitors and expenditure over the last year, with 832,000 million visitors who spent $1.1 billion – a growth of 30 per cent over the last 12 months.

“More visitors to our regions means stronger local economies and I look forward to continuing to boost our efforts to drive the dispersal of international visitors beyond the fringes of Sydney and into rural and regional areas.”

Mr Marshall said the figures had again cemented the State’s ranking as Australia’s number-one visitor destination.

“These figures are proof that our NSW marketing programs and strategies are working and that we’re well ahead of the game,” Mr Marshall said.

“The number of overseas visitors to NSW grew at three times the rate of our neighbours in Queensland, and their total spend in NSW was twice as high.”

NSW is still the firm favourite for Chinese visitors, who totalled 752,000 in the 12 months between August 2016 and September 2017. There was also a large influx of visitors from India, the USA, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia.