Increase in international visitors
THE Whitsundays has experienced growth in international visitation for the second time this year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey, conducted by Tourism Research Australia.
According to the survey, visitation to the Whitsunday region has grown by 12 per cent for the year ending June 2013 and visitor expenditure is up by almost 34 per cent. In particular, the Whitsundays hosted almost 10,000 new visitors from Europe, compared to this time last year.
WMDL CEO Danial Rochford has welcomed this news saying the growth in international visitor expenditure equates to an increase of $43million into the local economy.
“This is a terrific result and is warmly welcomed by the whole Whitsundays tourism industry,” Mr Rochford said.
"WMDL has certainly put a lot of effort into increasing the Whitsundays’ presence overseas through our marketing and trade representative based in Germany, as well as our partnership with our industry, TEQ and TA (Tourism Australia),” he said.
“We have also been helped by the devaluation of the Australian dollar as well as a more co-ordinated approach to international marketing abroad by all levels of government.”
This week, WMDL will be holding a meeting of its international members in Airlie Beach, to work through key strategies for continuing to grow international visitation.
"In particular, at this meeting we are tabling our first ever China Plan that considers ways to grow opportunities for the region out of mainland China,” Mr Rochford said.
“There is no doubt that we can see major growth opportunities out of this market and we have eager industry that sees that potential.”