The shine has yet to return to the Sunshine State’s tourism market, with Queensland’s visitor numbers still in decline.
The latest National Visitor Survey for the year ending March 2014 revealed domestic travel numbers grew across the country, with overnight travellers and expenditure increasing by 4 per cent and visitor nights up 1 per cent. The survey takes into account both business and holiday visitation and expenditure.
Day trips across the nation dropped by 4 per cent, but there was no change to day trip expenditure.
But while New South Wales and Victoria saw increases in overnight trips, visitor nights and expenditure, Queensland’s numbers declined.
Overnight visitors dropped by 2 per cent, while NSW saw an increase of 6 per cent and Victoria 7 per cent. In NSW, visitor nights increased by 1 per cent and in Victoria 3 per cent. Queensland saw a -3 per cent change. But the biggest loss was in expenditure – NSW claimed a 10 per cent increase, while Victoria clocked a 4 per cent jump. Queensland lost 1 per cent.
Overall, Queensland’s share of the domestic visitor market dropped to 22.8 per cent.
But it wasn’t all bad news – the tropical north Queensland region saw a 5.8 per cent jump in total results, with the region’s tourist resurgence continuing – the survey recorded a 10.4 per cent increase in holiday makers.
The survey also ended before the Easter holiday period, which was a success for Queensland.
But as one of the four pillars the Queensland government touts as crucial to the state’s economic recovery, the numbers reveal there is still a long way to go.
Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey preferred to look at the bright side. Ms Stuckey pointed to results which showed a four per cent growth between January and March this year, compared to the same time last year. Over a three year period, Queensland’s domestic visitation grew by 3 per cent, while spending increased by 6 per cent.
“Tourism numbers will fluctuate from season to season, but it’s encouraging to see a three per cent increase in visitors and a six per cent increase in visitor spending over three years [trend],” she said.
“We are taking a long term approach to tourism after Labor mismanagement saw Queensland lose its position as Australia’s number one holiday destination.
“The government’s strong 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, provides a shared purpose and common goal between industry and government to deliver on our targets.”