Do­mes­tic vis­i­tor num­bers down

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY BUSINESS -

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].”

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