Asian visitors drive boom in Queensland’s tourist industry

| March 14, 2018

For the first time ever, more than 500,000 Chinese people in a year have visited Queensland as the state’s tourism industry achieved record high growth in visitation and expenditure driven by several key Asian markets.

The latest International Visitor Survey results released today by Tourism Research Australia reveal 2.7 million overnight visitors to Queensland injected $5.3 billion into the state’s economy in the year ending December 2017, while total visitor nights grew 2.4 per cent to 53.1 million.

Both international holiday travel and overnight holiday visitor expenditure reached record highs – up 4.4 per cent to 1.9 million visitors and up 2.2 per cent to $2.8 billion respectively.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the results were welcome news for Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.

“The latest IVS data shows our industry is going from strength to strength. This has a lot to do with strong growth from our eastern markets like China, Japan, India and Hong Kong,” she said.

“We’ve done a lot of work to attract more direct flights to Queensland and access to key Asian markets is still a priority – that’s why we’re investing $48 million in this space in this term of government.

“These figures show the investments we made in improving access to Queensland and marketing our great state are paying off with record numbers of international travellers choosing to visit the sunshine state.

“But the job’s not over. The international tourism market has never been so competitive and it’s important we keep rising to the challenge by improving our tourism offering.

“We’re about to host the largest event in Queensland’s history. It’s important we put our best foot forward to make the most of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

China remains Queensland’s largest and most valuable international market with overnight visitor expenditure increasing by 11.7 per cent to $1.14 billion and visitation increasing 3.8 per cent to 503,000, capping off a successful China-Australia year of tourism and aviation capacity growth from the market.

Japan grew to become the state’s third largest international market, generating $432.1 million in expenditure – up 8.4 per cent, while Japanese visitor numbers increased 3.5 per cent to 205,000.

India moved to tenth place in terms of overall visitor expenditure, delivering a 46.4 per cent increase to $143.3 million thanks primarily to strong spending by education visitors.

Similarly, Hong Kong saw an 18.3 per cent increase in total visitor expenditure to $185.5 million, driven by growth in holiday and education spending.