The state’s tourism industry is thriving, bringing a host of new job opportunities to Queensland and boosting regional economies.
New statistics from Tourism Research Australia shows international travellers spent $4.4 billion in Queensland over the 12 months to March 2015. According to the organisation, this is the highest figure on record.
Overall, the data revealed an 11 per cent rise in spending year on year, which was the equivalent of an additional $421 million. Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones welcomed the figures, stating it was “great to see” more people from overseas visiting the state.
“The latest International Visitor Survey revealed 2.2 million international visitors stayed 48.5 million nights in Queensland in the year to March, increases of 7 and 5 per cent respectively,” she explained.
“International travel increased across all sectors, including holiday, those visiting friends and family and business-related travel.”
The news may also be encouraging for tourism and hospitality trainees, with Ms Jones confirming that the industry is experiencing growth across all Queensland’s hotspot destinations.
International visits rose 14 per cent to the Sunshine Coast, while the Gold Coast saw a 6 per cent rise. Tropical North Queensland and Brisbane both welcomed 7 per cent more tourists, while Whitsundays enjoyed a 13 per cent improvement in tourism traffic.
Tourism jobs in Queensland
Ms Jones said the 2015-16 State Budget would continue to support the tourism sector, with $400 million in funding allocated over the next four years alone.
“The government will focus on growing the industry through investment in marketing and events, aviation access and creating jobs,” she added.
Tourism and Events Queensland is expected to continue working closely with ministers and businesses in order to maintain the industry’s positive momentum.
Currently, China is Queensland’s biggest tourist market. There was a 27 per cent increase in spending from the nation’s visitors in the year to March. New Zealand expenditure in the state also rose, climbing 11 per cent. Queensland’s other major international markets – the UK, Japan and the US – saw rises of 5, 6 and 18 per cent respectively.
Ms Jones said recent announcements regarding new flight paths would help the state’s tourism. Jetstar has unveiled its Wuhan-Gold Coast service, while Qantas introduced a Tokyo-Brisbane journey.
Major international events, including the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the upcoming World Science Festival, will also attract overseas travellers.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator