Tourism Research Australia have today released their National Visitor Survey for the March quarter (available in full here). It shows domestic tourism in Australia continues to grow and exceed previous records. Total visitor numbers for the year to March 2015 stood at 82.3 million, up 6.1% for the year.
Growth into Queensland was somewhat slower at 5.1% to 18.6 million.
Unfortunately domestic tourism into our own area grew even slower still. A total of 1.6 million domestic visitors came to TNQ in the year to March, just a 0.2% increase over the year. Having recovered somewhat from the post-Yasi trough of 2011 the region’s share of the domestic market has fallen once again and now stands at just 2.0% (down from 2.12% a year ago). Not only are there just a few more people coming but they are, on average, spending less when they get here. Average trip expenditure in TNQ fell by 0.3% (and bear in mind that there are nominal figures which do not take into account inflation; a real decline would therefore be 1.6%); average trip expenditure across the country was also weak with just a 0.1% increase registered.
Fortunately the picture for International tourism to TNQ is looking rosier than it has been for some time (see commentary here), although here too we are seeing a steady decline in the region’s share of the market (despite the surge in Chinese visitors). Queensland tourism is simply not keeping pace with growth nationally in both domestic and international visitor numbers.