Qld vis­i­tors a boost

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

HOL­I­DAY­MAK­ERS from within the state drove an in­crease in vis­its to Far North Queens­land in the year to Septem­ber by a whop­ping 34.4 per cent, while busi­ness vis­i­tors also posted a sig­nif­i­cant rise of 20.4 per cent.

The num­ber of do­mes­tic overnight vis­i­tors to Trop­i­cal North Qld grew by in­creased 15.5 per cent to 1.7 mil­lion in the year to Septem­ber.

The re­port by Tourism and Events Queens­land says a key com­po­nent of in­trastate travel was much higher visi­ta­tion from nearby re­gions – res­i­dents trav­el­ling within TNQ.

All up 35 per cent of all do­mes­tic vis­i­tors to TNQ are in­tra-re­gional trav­ellers, who in­creased their visi­ta­tion 39.7 per cent over the year.

In­ter­state travel also in­creased, driven by growth in VFR (vis­it­ing friends and rel­a­tives) travel up (35.2 per cent). ‘‘In­ter­state hol­i­day­mak­ers also in­creased their travel to TNQ, sug­gest­ing that the ap­peal of TNQ as a do­mes­tic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion continues to rise,’’ TEQ says.

The re­port notes that in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors to the re­gion grew in num­ber by 11.4 per cent, and of those more than 90 per cent were on hol­i­days here.

There was good growth from the UK mar­ket (22.5 per cent), but dis­ap­point­ingly the North Amer­i­can mar­ket (US and Canada) ‘‘soft­ened fur­ther’’. It seems more Brits are choos­ing the far north, even though UK ar­rivals to Aus­tralia over­all were only up 3.9 per cent.

But the big driver of in­ter­na­tional visi­ta­tion to trop­i­cal North Queens­land was the Chi­nese mar­ket, which in­creased a huge 41.4 per cent in the year to Septem­ber, back­ing up other data and fore­casts which have shown or pre­dicted enor­mous growth from that coun­try’s tourist pop­u­la­tion.

China re­mains our re­gion’s largest source mar­ket, ahead of Ja­pan and the UK.

In all, the re­gion had 704,000 in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors in the year to Septem­ber, the third largest share in Queens­land, be­hind Bris­bane and the Gold Coast.

The num­ber of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors com­bined reached 2.37 mil­lion.

This was a rise of 14.3 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

To­tal overnight vis­i­tor ex­pen­di­ture in trop­i­cal North Queens­land grew by 5.5 per cent to $2.6 bil­lion.

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