Holiday visitors increase, tourism industry picks up after cyclone
The Mackay Region has recorded an impressive increase in the number of domestic holiday visitors by 23 per cent, year ending December 2016.
The annual growth has exceeded places like Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
A total of 862,000 people visited Mackay last year, with 177,000 choosing the region purely as a holiday destination.
The recent data also shows that travel expenditure was up 7.4 per cent, year ending December 2016.
Deputy Mayor of Mackay Regional Council and Mackay Tourism Board Director, Cr Amanda Camm, says the data shows a changing trend in visitor demographics which has traditionally been overshadowed by business travellers and Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR).
"Visitors and holidaymakers are now becoming more aware of the region’s natural assets and brand, we are seeing the benefits of The Mackay Region transitioning from a business and event destination to now include natural and unique leisure tourism experiences,” Cr Camm said.
The Mackay Region also recently recorded a spike in the number of international visitors to The Mackay Region. Out of the 47,000 international visitors the region received, 35,000 were purely holiday-makers which meant a 27.3 per cent increase for this type of visitation for the year.
Key drivers of this growth were the 9,000 visitors from Germany, who contributed to the combined European and UK visitor count of 26,000 – an increase of almost 17 per cent.
General Manager of Mackay Tourism, Tas Webber, said the statistics are welcome news after a week of bad weather and set-backs for the tourism industry.
“It’s great to see Queensland’s strong leisure market trickling into regional areas like Mackay,” Mr Webber said.
“After recent weather events, Mackay Tourism is hard at work driving the message that The Mackay Region is open for business.”
“The best support we can receive is having more visitors holidaying here and sharing their experiences with family and friends from all over the world.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones is also urging all Australians to get behind Queensland’s tourism industry following ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, by sharing their best #thisisqueensland holiday memories.
“There’s no question Cyclone Debbie left her mark in Queensland, but we know our tourism industry is incredibly resilient when it comes to responding to events like this,” Minister Jones said.
“It’s been a really tough week, but we’re built tough in Queensland and we will bounce back.”
Melissa Woods - Communications Officer
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Published: 5 April 2017