Festive season holidaymakers deliver $3 billion

Published Saturday, 21 January, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Festive season holidays across Queensland are on track to deliver more than $3 billion to tourism operators and the State’s visitor economy.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said from 10 December to 9 January, Queensland and interstate holidaymakers generated 15 million visitor nights, up almost 2.5 per cent on the 2021 festive season.

“This initial Christmas school holiday data shows Queensland’s domestic tourism recovery remains strong, on track and nation-leading,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“In more great news for Queensland jobs and tourism operators, this festive season’s more than $3 billion holiday spend will continue to grow ahead of Australia Day.

“By the end of the holidays, it’s predicted the total number of visitors traveling to Queensland’s world-class destinations will be more than 1.5 million.

“As the first Christmas holiday season since the lifting of national Covid restrictions, Queensland continues to benefit from Australians’ love of travel.

“The number of interstate arrivals enjoying Queensland’s great holiday lifestyle jumped by 123 per cent during December alone, delivering a bumper Christmas for most destinations.

“Tourism and Events Queensland data shows Brisbane leads the top five destinations for interstate arrivals, followed by the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Tropical North Queensland and the Southern Great Barrier Reef.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser said across the State demand for Christmas holiday accommodation was up by almost 10 per cent.

“The feedback from Queensland tourism operators this festive season is overwhelmingly positive, and that’s a good sign for ongoing recovery in the year ahead,” Mr Fraser said.

“Many operators report a noticeable increase in interstate visitors compared with Christmas 2021 as Australians shake off the pandemic.

“Holiday accommodation occupancy on the Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays is near capacity at 90 per cent with some providers booked out.

“On the Gold Coast, occupancy rates are at almost 84 per cent and have averaged up to 80 per cent in Tropical North Queensland including Cairns and Port Douglas.

“While Queensland holiday bookings have been solid, there are last minute vacancies in most destinations for an Australia Day long weekend getaway.”

Tourism Research Australia’s latest survey released yesterday, recorded 2.44 million overnight visitor trips in Queensland during October 2022.

The survey logged a five per cent increase in regional Queensland overnight visitor trips to 1.47 million when compared with October 2019, before the pandemic.

Overnight visitor spending across Queensland during October was up by almost $1 billion on pre-pandemic data.

“It’s terrific to celebrate Queensland’s strong domestic tourism recovery, but we know there’s more work to do on rebuilding international holiday arrivals,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s strategic, $200 million aviation war chest - in partnership with Queensland’s four international airports – continues to land more direct airline capacity from overseas.

“More seats mean more overseas arrivals with New Zealand, the US, UK, Japan and India leading our international tourism recovery.”

In coming weeks, Tourism and Events Queensland will roll out a new suite of compelling Queensland holiday deals and experiences to drive extra domestic visitor demand during February and March.

Media: 0427 475 089.