A record 28 million tourists spent more than ever before in Queensland last year with the latest data released by Tourism Research Today showing visitors spent $24.8 billion in the Sunshine State in the year ended June 2019.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said a major highlight was Outback Queensland welcoming a record 1.07 million tourists over the same period.
“Tourism is crucial to jobs growth in Queensland. That’s why we’re investing in this industry and working with operators to attract more tourists to our state,” she said.
“The Premier declared 2019 the Year of Outback Tourism in Queensland and already we are seeing the results of our dedicated campaign to attract visitors to support Outback Queensland’s economy,” Ms Jones said.
“To surpass one million visitors for the first time to the outback and achieve record visitor spending of $724 million shows that our message is reaching our target markets and they are visiting in their droves.
“It also demonstrates the value that tourism can bring to these local economies particularly as they struggle through drought.”
Ms Jones said many operators across the state faced serious challenges over the last 12 months but today’s data proved Queensland’s tourism industry was resilient.
“We saw many regions welcoming record numbers of visitors and record visitor expenditure which demonstrates the success of the Palaszczuk Government’s tourism strategy and the work of Tourism and Events Queensland to market the state around the world,” she said.
“The extended monsoon season in the north in the first half of 2019 and bushfires more recently in southeast Queensland highlight the challenges our industry and operators face.
“That’s why we’re investing in extra marketing like the $2 million campaign recently announced for Cairns – one of the largest-ever marketing campaigns for the region – and recovery marketing for bushfire-affected regions.
“Earlier this year, the State Government’s world-first scUber campaign reached roughly 4.7 billion people and generated more than 4700 positive articles on visiting the Great Barrier Reef.
“It’s this kind of out-of-the-box thinking that is really paying off for Queensland now.”
"Ms Jones said high-spending international visitors who travel to Queensland for education purposes bolstered the state’s record growth, as did record visitation and spend from domestic business travelers and people visiting friends and relatives from interstate.
“International education visitors stayed an average of 105 nights in Queensland, spending about $14,000 per trip,” she said.
“This is an important achievement by the state as we target a diversified portfolio to ensure sustainability for one of Queensland’s most valuable industries.
“We’re also starting to see positive changes from Japan - a traditionally valuable international market – which in the year to June 2019 moved up two positions to become Queensland’s third most valuable international tourism market.
“This is great news for Queensland’s tourism industry and is supported by solid growth in visitor expenditure from our largest market – China – of almost 15 per cent.
“At a regional level, Brisbane continues to break records, with more than 9 million visitors from around the globe spending a record $7.6 billion as they enjoyed the opening of new hotels and new tourism experiences across the city.
“The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Southern Great Barrier Reef, Outback Queensland and Mackay regions also all enjoyed record visitor spending.
“Tourism employs one in ten Queenslanders – more people than the agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries combined – which is why the Palaszczuk Government is working closely with Tourism and Events Queensland, investors and business owners to ensure the state remains competitive and jobs in the sector grow.”