Media Releases

2020 visitor targets on track

Visitors to Tropical North Queensland spent $3.025 billion in the year ending December 2016.

Visitors to Tropical North Queensland spent $3.025 billion in the year ending December 2016, once again surpassing the 2020 target of $2.85 billion. The International Visitor Survey showed expenditure is up 10.1% to $1.125 billion with an average spend of $1249. Holiday visitors grew 16.2% to 837,000 and total visitors grew 15.3% to 901,000. The growth in visitor expenditure and numbers has outstripped that of Queensland and Australia. China remains the region’s largest market with visitor numbers increasing 32.2% to 229,000. The US is the second largest with 14.6% growth to 116,000, Japan grew 21.2% to 110,000, the UK grew 1.7% to 93,000, Germany grew 10.3% to 53,000, New Zealand grew 42.3% to 53,000 and Hong Kong grew 13.1% to 24,000. Visitor numbers decreased from Canada by 2.3% to 22,000, by 13.4% to 19,000 from Scandinavia, by 21% to 21,000 from France and by 6.7% to 21,000 from India. Holiday visitor nights increased by 4.4% to 5.3 million.

The National Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2016 showed domestic visitation dropped, although our industry and Cairns airport report strong demand from this sector in 2016. Holiday visitors were down 11.9% to 955,000 and total visitors fell by 11.3% to 1.896 million driven by a 16.8% decline in intrastate visitors. Despite this decrease, intrastate visitors continue to dominate with 1.2 million visitors spending 4.6 million nights in the region. This included 239,000 visitors from Brisbane staying a total of 1.4 million nights. Interstate visitors stayed longer with 4.7 million nights and 701,000 visitors. The 184,000 visitors from Melbourne spent 1.5 million nights in the region while 201,000 Sydneysiders spent 1 million nights. Domestic visitors spent $1.9 billion, down by 15%.

There appears to be some abnormality with the NVS data which is reinforced by the following disclaimer that has been added by the Tourism Research Australia: In recent quarters some unexpectedly high growth rates have appeared in some National Visitor Survey (NVS) sub-estimates. The issue is more pronounced when looking at purpose of travel and regional level information. TRA is reviewing the data and suggests that users of the NVS data interpret recent year on year growth rates with caution until further notice.