Tourism growth is tena­cious

Whit­sun­days re­gion at­tracted 869,000 tourists in the year end­ing Septem­ber 2018

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ge­or­gia Simp­son Ge­or­gia.Simp­[email protected] whit­sun­day­

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.

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