Expenditure dips below record

The past year has seen a slowing of the domestic market, matched by growth in international visitors.  The International and National Visitor Surveys for the year ending March 2024 show total international visitor nights for Tropical North Queensland reached 5.4 million, that is 78.4% of 2019 international visitor nights. The 11.7 million domestic visitor nights lift the region’s total visitor nights to 98% of the First Quarter of 2019.  While this is a positive sign, total visitor numbers are only back to 97%, and total visitor expenditure dipped just below the record levels of mid 2023 to $4.7 billion.

Europe is Tropical North Queensland’s largest international market with 116,000 visitors staying 1.3 million nights. Visitation is down 27.1% from 2019, although the average length of stay is up 0.7 nights to 11.3.

The average length of stay for the North American market increased by 0.2 nights to 5.8, with 103,000 visitors (down 21.9%) staying 592,000 nights.

Japan delivered 84,000 visitors (down 25.1%) with 424,000 nights increasing by 0.2 nights to an average length of stay of 5.1 nights.

New Zealand is our fourth largest market with 32,000 visitors (down 15.7%), however, capacity is further increasing with Air New Zealand operating three weekly services to Auckland from 4 July and four from 5 August, and the announcement of direct flights to from Christchurch from April 2025.

There were 16,000 visitors from China which was down 91.9%, contributing to the decrease in total international visitor numbers from 2019.

The total number of international visitors was down 39.2% to 491,000 delivering $894.8 million expenditure, down 12.9%, with the average spend per visitor up 43.3% to $1821.

Domestic visitation decreased by 8.5% to 2.3 million from the previous 12 months and expenditure fell 11% to $3.8 billion as the region experienced the brunt of cancellations following record-breaking floods.

Holiday visitors fell 16.8% to 1.2 million, visiting friends and relatives fell 5.8% to 460,000, but business visitors grew by 10.5% to 473,000 with a record 2.3 million nights.

The loss of interstate visitors contributed to the decline in total numbers with a fall of 18.2% to 804,000. Intrastate was down 2.2% to 1.5 million, but there was a record number of Townsville visitors with a jump of 18.1% to 318,000.

[Expenditure dips below record – TTNQ Fortnightly Pulse  – 26 June 2024]