Domestic visitor numbers down
THE number of Australians visiting the Whitsundays has declined over the past year according to the latest National Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2014.
While the number of interstate travellers increased by 10.4 per cent, the number of visitors from other parts of Queensland decreased by 26 per cent, leading to an overall decline of 13.7 per cent.
Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) Executive Director Jeff Aquilina said the latest figures showed Queensland was losing its share of holidaymakers to Victoria.
He attributed this to fewer holidays and visiting friends and relatives travellers as well as marketing budget cuts.
“The numbers clearly demonstrate the importance of destination marketing for our region and Queensland as a whole and align with the decline in Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) marketing budget for the state,” he said.
Mr Aquilina said WMDL would continue its strong focus on domestic and international marketing activity, collaborating closely with the local industry, Council and TEQ. “We have just launched a major marketing campaign in Townsville to drive intrastate visitation for our region and we are also preparing for a big marketing push in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to boost domestic visitation for our region,” he said.
Despite the domestic knock-back, Mr Aquilina was optimistic about international visitor numbers for the year ending December 2014, which have not yet been released.
“Anecdotal feedback from industry tells us that we can expect an increase in international visitors in more recent statistics due to the weakening of the Australian dollar which is resulting in a strong rebound of the UK and European markets,” he said.
“Our local industry has also recorded strong numbers during Christmas school holidays and Chinese New Year which is good news.
“I strongly believe that if we all work together as one and continue our marketing efforts for this destination, we can increase the Whitsundays’ share of domestic visitors [too].”