Tourism in Queensland experienced a number of milestones last year, with increased activity across the sector likely to have a positive impact on employment.
Figures from the Palaszczuk government show tourism supports approximately 241,000 jobs in Queensland, while contributing nearly $11 billion towards gross state product.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said recent data from Tourism Research Australia, which indicated more than 2.3 million international visitors travelled to Queensland in 2015, revealed efforts to grow the industry are working.
According to the statistics, the state enjoyed a 9 per cent increase in overseas tourists last year when compared with 2014. This boost resulted in a 19 per cent jump in tourism spending, leading to an extra $4.9 billion for the state’s coffers.
“We have made the most of favourable market conditions, with the largest number of international visitors in history coming to Queensland last year,” she explained.
Kate Jones, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, welcomed the figures, claiming strong growth in China continued to spur expansion in the industry.
She noted overnight visitor spending from the Asian nation climbed 51 per cent in 2015, making the country Queensland’s biggest market at $950 million.
Tourism growth creates opportunities
Tourism and Events Queensland Chair Bob East claimed now is an excellent time for the industry, with various high-growth markets and a range of regional opportunities.
People who are considering commencing apprenticeships or traineeship in Queensland will no doubt find Mr East’s comments encouraging. As businesses look to expand their operations, they will likely seek ways of preparing their talent pipeline for the future.
SEEK figures from December showed job adverts for hospitality and tourism positions in Queensland climbed 6 per cent in 2015. The organisation said Australia as a whole saw healthy growth in these industries last year, which is good news for jobseekers.
“In addition to securing additional inbound aviation opportunities, we are stepping up our effort to sell Queensland’s unique experiences to the world through targeted marketing and a world-class event portfolio,” Mr East said.
Aside from China, Queensland’s biggest overseas tourism markets are the US, the UK, Japan and New Zealand. Visitors from the US increased 38 per cent last year, while UK and Japanese tourist numbers edged forward 13 and 5 per cent respectively.
Overall, however, New Zealand provides the biggest proportion of Queensland’s annual tourists, with 424,000 Kiwis journeying to the state in 2015.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator