NEW figures released by Tourism Research Australia show that Tropical North Queensland was the seventh-highest region in the country for tourist spending.
In 2015, Australia’s tourism industry grew to a record $94.5-billion on the back of strong growth in both international and domestic visitor numbers, who are staying longer and spending more.
Across Queensland, international visitors were up nine per cent to over 2.3-million and spend was up 19 per cent to almost $5-billion.
Domestic overnight trips increased 8 per cent to almost 20.1 million, while spending by domestic visitors was up six per cent to $14.5-billion.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said local businesses were benefitting from Australia’s record tourism industry growth.
“We have more than 3,600 tourism businesses across Tropical North Queensland, benefiting from the nearly 5.3-million domestic and international visitors came to our region last year,” said Mr Entsch.
“The research shows tourists stayed an average of six nights and splashed out nearly $3.1-billion – making our region the seventh-highest in Australia for tourism spending.”
The regions who received more tourism spending than Tropical North Queensland were Sydney ($15.2-billion), Melbourne ($13.8-billion), Brisbane ($6.4-billion), Perth ($6-billion), Gold Coast ($4.5-billion) and the North Coast of NSW ($3.3-billion). However, Mr Entsch said he was quietly pleased that Tropical North Queensland received more of the tourist dollar than larger centres such as Adelaide ($3-billion) and the Sunshine Coast ($2.5-billion).
“Tourism dollars spent at local businesses has flow-on effects in local communities – particularly in regional areas where 44 cents in every tourism dollar is now spent.”
Mr Entsch said that the Australian Government is encouraging more investment and visitation in regional areas through its Tourism 2020 Strategy.
“Tourism operators across Tropical North Queensland are benefiting from our pro-growth tourism policies which include investment in regional tourism infrastructure, boosting flight capacity, visa reforms, measures to reduce red tape, and targeted international marketing campaigns,” he said.
The new Tourism Research Australia (TRA) figures for Tropical North Queensland show that, in 2015:
- The top three markets for international tourists were China (174,000), the United States of America (101,000) and the United Kingdom (90,000);
- The main purpose of visits was for a holiday (2.93-million);
The most popular activity was food and wine (2.95-million);
- Most visitors came alone (818,000), followed by adult couples (797,000) and then friends or relatives travelling together (578,000);
- Hotels were the most popular form of accommodation (1.47-million), while staying with friends or relatives was the second favourite option (608,000) and caravans or camping was the third choice (404,000).
An interactive tool showing tourism activity by regional area is available on the TRA website.