Queensland’s great lifestyle drives visitor recovery

Queensland is predicted to become the only Australian state to make a full pandemic recovery for domestic visitor nights by the end of this year.

The forecast is part of new Tourism Research Australia (TRA) data which finds visitor nights in most states aren’t expected to recover from Covid until later in 2023.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland’s great lifestyle was breaking records for domestic holiday visitors to the State and spending.

“Queensland continues to be Australia’s shining light for domestic tourism which is great news for the visitor economy,” the Premier said.

“On most domestic indicators, Queensland tourism is booming and doing better than before the Covid pandemic.

“To see our biggest result for domestic overnight visitor expenditure (OVE) at $24.5 billion and most regions with record visitor numbers are reasons to celebrate.

“This is a strong recovery demonstrating the determination and resilience of tourism operators, and the world-class visitor experiences found only in Queensland.”

Tourism Research Australia data for the year to September 2022 confirms Queensland’s nation-leading position for the recovery of our domestic visitor economy.

Queensland’s $24.5 billion domestic visitor spend is the highest in the State’s history, leading New South Wales by one per cent and Victoria by 43 per cent, and a 26 per cent improvement on pre-pandemic data.

The State’s domestic OVE to September 2022 is almost $5 billion better than visitor spending for the year to June 2022, according to the TRA survey.

Ten of Queensland’s eleven tourism regions broke records for domestic overnight visitor spending, led by Brisbane at $5.5 billion, the Gold Coast’s $4.2 billion and $4 billion for the Tropical North.

Australians holidaying in Queensland topped 10.7 million visitors in the year to September, a Queensland first and 7 per cent higher than before Covid, with six tourism regions achieving record results for total visitors.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said TRA data also reflected the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to destination marketing.

“We’ve harnessed Australians love of travel and inspired visitors to explore more of the world-class experiences in Queensland’s backyard,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These results show the importance of destination marketing and returning domestic airline capacity to the State’s recovery, particularly in regional Queensland.

“TRA’s prediction putting Queensland ahead of other Australian states to achieve domestic recovery will be another terrific confidence booster for tourism operators going into 2023.

“Although TRA data puts a light at the end of the runway for international tourism, we know there’s more work to on rebuilding Queensland’s overseas visitor industry.

“We’ll be announcing more direct international flights next year to help drive recovery, secured by Queensland’s $200 million aviation war chest in partnership with the State’s four international airports.

“More international flight capacity means more overseas visitors enjoying Queensland’s great lifestyle and supporting good tourism jobs.”

Queensland’s top five countries for international arrivals are currently New Zealand, followed by the UK, the US, India, and Singapore.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser said it was remarkable to see how far the tourism sector had come over the past year.

“The recovery of our tourism industry has been nothing short of spectacular,” Mr Fraser said.

“Tourism’s recovery is due in large part to the resolve and determination of our operators in providing visitors to Queensland with a memorable experience.”