New Year boost for Whitsundays tourism

9 Jul 2014 2:46 PMJann Stuckey

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Almost half a million Australians spent over $600 million on visits to the Whitsundays in the year to March 2014, buoyed by a New Year boost in travel according to new figures released today.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said Tourism Research Australia’s latest National Visitor Survey showed a strong start to the New Year for the Whitsundays’ tourism industry.

“The Newman Government has a strong plan for a brighter future, supporting and growing tourism as we promised at the election,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Australians flocked to the Whitsundays for a summer holiday with visitor numbers growing over six per cent between January and March compared with the same time the year prior.

“Whitsunday holidays were particularly popular with visitor numbers from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane seeing double digit growth during the year to March 2014.”

“The 14 per cent growth in expenditure represents an additional $74 million spent in the Whitsundays.”

Head of Flight Centre Australia Tom Walley said Queensland continued to be a popular choice for Flight Centre customers during summer and certainly the January – March quarter of 2014 proved a busy booking period.

“Queensland symbolises the traditional family break, particularly for southerners, with family-friendly holiday hotspots such as the Gold Coast, Hamilton Island and Fraser Island all offering a range of fun activities from theme parks to surf schools,” Mr Walley said.

Ms Stuckey said the Government’s 20 year plan for tourism, Destination Success provided a shared purpose and common goal between industry and government.

“Our focus is on preserving and growing the value of the domestic market, remembering the many Queenslanders who holiday in the state and many Australians who visit Queensland,” Ms Stuckey said.

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan said the figures released today representing a six per cent increase in domestic visitor spending in Queensland over a three-year trend, was fantastic news for his local community.

“These results will provide a huge boost for our regional tourism industry as well as local businesses,” said Mr Costigan.

“The Whitsundays was a stand out with visitor spending increasing 14 per cent to more than $600 million which will be further bolstered by last week’s arrival of new flights and the opening of One&Only Hayman Island.

“Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and the Newman Government will continue to support the industry towards our goal of increasing domestic and international overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.”

More Information about Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey for the year ended March 2014 is available at – teq.queensland.com (external site) ( http://www.te.queensland.com/ )

Audio available here: https://soundcloud.com/jannstuckey/sets/new-year-boost-for-whitsundays(external site) ( https://soundcloud.com/jannstuckey/sets/new-year-boost-for-whitsundays )

[ENDS] 9 July 2014