Qld visitors a boost
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.