Tourism growth is tenacious
Whitsundays region attracted 869,000 tourists in the year ending September 2018
WHISPERS that tourism has taken a hit in the region may be wide of the mark, with new data showing the picturesque Whitsundays has recorded double-digit growth in the amount of cash spent by domestic tourists.
In the year ending September 2018, National Visitor Survey data revealed a record 629,000 domestic visitors spent $651 million in the Whitsundays, a growth of 10.4 per cent over the three years.
International Visitor Survey data for the same period showed more than 240,000 visitors spent more than $215 million in the Whitsundays, a nearly 10 per cent growth year-on-year.
Of the combined 869,000 tourists to visit the region, the average spend per person was $966. Intrastate visitors were up a whopping 70.4 per cent, with 233,000 Queenslanders making the pilgrimage to our tropical paradise.
The report indicates that although some of the core international markets were slightly down, tourists from the UK, Germany, China and the US accounted for 119,000 visitors in the year.
Canada, France and Scandinavia provided increased visitor numbers from previous years.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said the reopening of Hayman and Daydream Islands would hopefully see a further increase in visitor numbers.
“With 2019 comes the big return of Daydream Island and Hayman Island as well as the opening of boho-chic Elysian Resort and many more exciting new product developments for our resilient region. We hope to see these visitor growth figures return.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the data proved Queensland out-performed NSW and Victoria in 2018 in international visitor expenditure growth in the year ending September 2018.
“Our international visitor expenditure grew 11.5 per cent – more than double the Australian rate,” she said.
“We also saw record highs in international visitor numbers, with 2,762,000 visitors spending $5.9 billion in Queensland.”
The state’s lead marketing agency, Tourism and Events Queensland, launched its reinvigorated ‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next’ campaign in April 2018 and it seems visitors have responded, with the recorded increase in numbers.