The National Visitors Survey from Tourism Research Australia today (available for download here) shows a very healthy 7.6% growth in the number of domestic trips across the country for the year to March 2016. In Queensland that growth rate was even better (+8.8%) but it was the Tropical North which really stood out as the star performer. Domestic overnight visitor numbers to the north of the state surged by 33.5% for the year to a new record of 2.2 million.
Average expenditure in the TNQ region barely rose, only up 1.5% (slightly less than inflation over the same period) which saw total regional expenditure up by a massive 35.5% for the year to almost $2.4 billion. This has seen the region’s share of the domestic market increase to a new record high just a touch under 2.5% (see second chart below).
Although domestic visitor numbers have soared and their average expenditure has almost kept pace with inflation they are staying less time; the average length of a stay in the TNQ region fell from 5.3 to 4.8 nights. Combined with the International Visitor data from a fortnight ago (see here) we see that TNQ has had a total of over 3 million visitors (both domestic and international) in the year to March 2016 which is a 26.3% increase over the course of the year, and a new record high. The tourism industry in the north is certainly enjoying halcyon days at the moment.