Post­ing big num­bers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Pic­ture: ALI­SON GE­ORGE

GREAT SEA­SON: Port posts record num­bers this year

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