A blight on Blighty: UK tumbles down destination list for Brisbane holidaymakers

London may be the talk of the world in the countdown to next week's 2012 Olympics, but the United Kingdom is losing its lustre as a destination for Brisbane travellers.

Figures out from Brisbane Airport Corporation show that for the first time the UK has dropped out of the top five destinations for outbound international passengers.

The UK had long been number two on Brisbane travellers' destination list, behind New Zealand, but has been on a steady decline in recent years and for the first time this financial year finished sixth.

The passenger numbers for 2011-2012 reveal international and intrastate travel is growing faster than other domestic travel.

International travel among Australian passport holders through Brisbane grew 6.9 per cent over the past year, most likely linked to the strong Australian dollar.

And while traveller numbers to the UK continued to increase, they have been overtaken by other fast-rising destinations. 

Having fallen behind Fiji and the US as a popular destination in 2009, Brisbane last year tumbled another two places, behind Thailand and Indonesia.

Passenger numbers for the top six international destinations (rounded) were:

  1. New Zealand 241,000
  2. USA 84,000
  3. Fiji 73,000
  4. Thailand 70,000
  5. Indonesia 67,000
  6. UK 51,000

Inbound, the number of visitors from China increased 24 per cent to 179,000 passengers, New Zealand 3.5 per cent to 903,000 passengers, and India 10 per cent to 71,600 passengers.

Meanwhile domestic figures revealed the extent of the boom in fly-in fly-out traffic, with four in five new seats added on domestic flight routes from Brisbane to other Queensland destinations in the past year.

Of the 997,000 extra domestic seats available, 790,000 were intrastate, helping intrastate-regional traffic rise to 33 per cent of total domestic traffic from Brisbane, up from 31 per cent the year before.

Routes seeing the greatest change in passenger volumes included Mackay, Gladstone, Moranbah, Emerald, Rockhampton, Townsville and Roma.

Overall, BAC registered more than 21-million international and domestic passengers through its terminals from July 2011 to June 2012, a new record, equating to year-on-year growth of 4.6 per cent or more than 910,000 additional passengers.

The 10 busiest domestic destinations from Brisbane for the financial year were:

  1. Sydney
  2. Melbourne
  3. Cairns
  4. Townsville
  5. Mackay
  6. Perth
  7. Adelaide
  8. Canberra
  9. Rockhampton
  10. Newcastle