Posting big numbers
PORT Douglas marks record year as traditional markets recover.
Domestic and international markets continue to show outstanding growth as travellers return to Port Douglas, according to the results from the latest International Visitors Survey.
The survey, released by Tourism Research Australia, found domestic visitor numbers increased by 23.8 per cent to 354,000 compared to 286,000 in the year ending 2012 and 240,000 for 2011.
As a result of this, domestic nights increased from 1,493,000 in 2012 to 1,723,000 in 2013, recording 15.5 per cent growth, while the average length of stay was 4.9 nights.
For the same period, international visitors increased by 6000 to top 84,000, a difference of 7.7 per cent.
Showing the greatest growth at 49 per cent was the number of international visitor stays, which rose from 396,000 in 2012 to 590,000 in 2013.
This was due to the increased length of stay for international visitors, which increased by almost two days to reach seven.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Doug Ryan said it was a great result that all markets - domestic and international - were trending upwards.
‘‘These figures reinforce the fact that we have seen it improving over the last two years, and certainly reflects feedback we have received from industry in the region.’’
Mr Ryan said the increased length of stay to seven for international visitors was outstanding, having remained at five days for the previous three years.
‘‘Confidence has returned in our international markets - the Aussie dollar has come down, the effects of the global financial crisis is reducing and as a result people are starting to travel again,’’ he said.
Mr Ryan believed these figures demonstrated just how important tourism was to the region.
‘‘The average spend per head, not including travel, is $370 per day. If you multiple this by the number of room nights, there is a significant economic push direct into the region.
‘‘This works out to be around $800 million and does not include on-flow from other markets such as the cruise ship market, which injected an estimated $4.2 million into the local economy in the 2012-13 financial year.’’
He said more than one million day visitors also chose to spend their time in Port Douglas in the last financial year, spending an average of $110 a day.
‘‘Future bookings from July through to now indicate that the 2013-14 financial year will be even better with another increase,’’ Mr Ryan added.
GREAT SEASON: Port posts record numbers this year