High-spending Sydney visitors helped to grow interstate travel to Tropical North Queensland for the year ending March 2023 generating a $2.6 billion boost to the economy, according to Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey figures released today.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said interstate expenditure almost doubled, jumping 92.6 per cent on the $1.4 billion generated in the year ending December 2019, which was the last period unaffected by the pandemic.
“Sydneysiders and holidaymakers from regional New South Wales helped to drive the growth with record numbers heading north,” he said.
“Sydney visitors grew by 28.3 per cent from the year ending March 2019 to 249,000 and New South Wales visitors by 33.5 per cent to 384,000. The 1.7 million Sydney visitor nights more than doubled the 2019 figures with the average length of stay growing by 0.6 nights to 6.9 nights.
“Total interstate visitors were up 37.1 per cent from 2019 to 983,000 accounting for more than half of the total $4.3 billion domestic expenditure.
“The majority of interstate visitors continued to be from Victoria with a 38.7 per cent increase from 2019 to 448,000 and Melbourne visitors increasing by 43.4 per cent to 307,000.
“These record figures are on the back of Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s third consecutive Summer campaign to drive domestic visitation beyond winter. The higher yielding greater Sydney and Melbourne markets were targeted with an integrated media approach and activity with retail partners including Expedia, Luxury Escapes and My Queensland.
“Public relations activity was also ramped up with $4.5 million in domestic publicity generated in November and December highlighting summer activities.
“Increased interstate air capacity and new routes helped to boost numbers with seasonal Newcastle traffic in 2022, additional Virgin flights from Adelaide and Perth, and Qantas flights from Perth.
“Total visitors were up 12.6% to 2.5 million and they extended their stay by 0.5 nights to an average of 5.5 nights generating 13.8 million visitor nights with the average spend per visitor up 52.3 per cent to $1723.
“Holidaymakers continued to account for the majority of visitors with 1.5 million people holidaying in the region.
“It is the first time in six quarters that Tropical North Queensland did not set a total domestic expenditure record, reflecting the softening of intrastate travel which has been very strong since Queenslanders emerged from the first lockdown in 2020.
“Intrastate visitors grew by just 0.8 per cent from 2019 and for the first time declined from the previous year with a 2 per cent drop to 1.5 million. Brisbane visitors grew by 11.8 per cent to 291,000 and interregional visitors fell by 5.8 per cent to 695,000 as people ventured further from home.”