The Mackay market is big business for Whitsundays
IT WAS a good year for tourism in the Whitsundays and it could be getting better according to a regional snapshot report by Tourism and Events Queensland.
Tourism data contained within the report has shown more visitors are coming to the Whitsundays, and most of them are spending more money.
Nearly half of all visitors to the Whitsundays are Queenslanders with many coming just up the Bruce Highway from Mackay.
According to the report, Mackay is one of the top markets for Whitsunday tourists, along with Brisbane and Townsville.
UK tourists, the Whitsunday's biggest international source market, dropped 10 per cent, which was offset by growth in markets such as France and the Netherlands.
CEO of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL), Danial Rochford, said there was a sense of confidence among tourism operators.
"There is certainly a stronger feeling at the moment that the future looks bright," he said.
"The majority of tourism operators you talk to now feel like next year will again be a better year."
Mr Rochford said more flights coming to the Whitsundays would continue to increase tourism in the region.
He said these included Qantas flights into the Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island and Tiger Airways flights into Proserpine.