Slowdown impacts TNQ

The region’s total overnight expenditure for 2018-19 was $3.3 billion with 2.85 million visitors and 17.3 million visitor nights.

Domestic visitor numbers to Tropical North Queensland held steady at 2 million, while international visitors dipped slightly to 849,000 impacted by state-wide losses in the traditional Western markets of the UK and Germany.

The domestic market, which accounts for 68% of visitor nights was flat in the year ending June 2019, with domestic visitor nights up 3.4% to 10.4 million. Strong growth was recorded from Melbourne with visitors up 13.8%. Reflecting an increasingly conservative domestic economic outlook, visitor spend dipped by 5.2% to $2.2 billion. The proportion of holiday visitors dropped slightly, with strong growth in both Visiting Friends and Relatives (up 21.8% on the previous year) and business travel which grew by 8.9%.

International visitor numbers were down 1.7% per annum with the major market shifts from the UK (down 8.8%) and Germany (down 14.4%). This reflects state-wide reductions in these markets at 5.2% and 7.2% respectively.

Conversely, the region saw growth in the US and Canadian markets up 6.1% and 16.3% respectively.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said the global impacts of the uncertainty around Brexit were now being felt around the globe and especially here in Tropical North Queensland.

“This is our third quarter of declines from the long-haul markets of the UK and Germany along with many other mainland European countries,” he said.

“The domestic market is steady, and showing some growth in visitor nights but Australian visitors to Tropical North Queensland are watching their budgets with spend per trip dropping slightly and growth in the visiting friends and relatives market.

“This is quite typical when the exchange rate drops and domestic economic conditions soften. Destinations away from the capital cities feel it first.

“The region’s biggest international market, China, remained steady at 206,000 visitors and Japan increased 1.3% to 113,000. The region saw above state average growth in the India, USA, Canada, and New Zealand markets.

“In the domestic market, our local drive markets of Townsville and Brisbane were both down on this time last year. Conversely, there was growth in the day trip market, up 25.5% per annum to 3.2 million and up 48.8% in spend to $521.3 million.

“Overall the value of the region’s visitor economy remains at $3.8 billion per annum when including day trips.”

[TTNQ Fortnightly Pulse article – 9 October 2019]