Rich recipe for tourism
Far North the top choice for big spenders
THE Far North’s tourism industry is to target big spenders as new figures show international tourists splashed more cash in the region than elsewhere in Queensland.
Visitors averaged $167 a night compared to $127 on the Gold Coast and $87 in Brisbane or totalling $1202 during their stay, according to the International Visitor Survey for 2017.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Pip Close said it fitted with the strategy to “chase high-end visitors while the aviation seat capacity into Cairns is constrained”.
“Visitors from Europe grew 16.7 per cent driven by strong growth from France which was up 40 per cent to 23,000, Scandinavia up 35.8 per cent to 25,000, Germany up 3.5 per cent to 55,000 and Italy up 75 per cent to 14,000,” she said.
Ms Close said the appointment of a marketing agent in German-speaking countries would capitalise on the potential of European visitors who stayed longer and spent more.
The survey results also revealed the lucrative Indian traveller market has soared by nearly half in the past year.
“The strongest growth of 48.4 per cent was from India with 32,000 visitors, largely due to the increase in SilkAir flights to five days a week providing a good connection to India,” Ms Close said.
The number of international holiday visitors to the region reached a record high of 839,000 during 2017 (up 2000) but total overseas visitors fell marginally buy 0.4 per cent from 901,000 to 897,000.
The full extent of last year’s disastrous Chinese New Year when charter flights were cancelled was revealed with 12,000 fewer Chinese visitors but they were still the largest source with 216,000.
Cairns Airport aviation chief commercial officer Paul McLean said initial February results showed the new direct Chinese flights had “boosted” numbers.
“Air New Zealand will also return to Cairns with their Auckland service resuming on March 29,” he said.