Has the TNQ domestic tourism boom come to an end?

Today saw the release of Tourism Australia’s National Visitor Survey for the Sept quarter (available for download here). It shows domestic tourism growing at almost 5% nationally but QLD, and TNQ in particular, not performing as well.

Nation-wide domestic overnight visitors increased by 4.8% on the year to Sept to exceed 89 million. In QLD the increase, to 20 million, was just 1.6%. In our own region we saw overnight domestic visitor numbers to TNQ actually decline by 7.3% over the year to less than 1.9 million. When we consider just holiday visitors the decline is even greater at -12.4%. This takes the region’s share of the domestic market back to 2.1%, having hit recent record highs of almost 2.5% just 6 months ago. Total domestic expenditure in the Tropical North fell by 3.4% (to $2 billion) as the average spent per visitor increased by more than double the rate of inflation, 4.1%.

In answer to the question posed in the post title, I think it’s probably too early to suggest the boom is over. As we can see from the chart below domestic tourism expenditure in the region remains well above the levels seen just a few years ago. Nevertheless, it is also clear that we have come well off the peaks seen earlier this year. A few more quarters of data should confirm one way or the other but I would certainly want to see TTNQ making some moves to address the significant decline in the TNQ domestic market which has come as total domestic tourism numbers nation-wide hit new record highs.

7 replies
    • Pete Faulkner
      Pete Faulkner says:

      Thanks for the comment Mark. These figures relate to the year to the end of the Sept quarter, rather than just the Sept quarter. Figures for just the Sept quarter suggest an increase of 2.7% from the same quarter last year nationally and a decline of 1.7% for QLD (data at the regional level not available from this release). Cheers, Pete

      Reply
  1. Glen
    Glen says:

    I would have thought the rise in international numbers would effect domestic, particularly as room rates increase and domestic travelers look for more budget destinations for both accomodation and airfares. I have traveled up to Cairns for thirty years with business and have always said Cairns needs to target more repeat tourists , it is poor in this regard against Gold Coast, Sydney or Melbourne where families go regularly for holidays or weekends, sports events, concerts etc,

    Reply
    • Pete Faulkner
      Pete Faulkner says:

      Glen, that’s certainly a good point and the surge in international visitor numbers to the region (up almost 16% y/y in Sept) at the same time as domestic numbers come off would support the theory. Thanks for the comment, Pete

      Reply
  2. Alister Pike
    Alister Pike says:

    Unfortunately the major coral bleaching event of late 2016 has been poorly perceived both domestically and internationally. The southern section of the Coral Sea Coast ( us) have collectively not been diligent in promoting our section which was ( and still is) largely untouched by bleaching.

    Reply
    • Pete Faulkner
      Pete Faulkner says:

      That’s a fair comment Alister, we will have to see if the impact is confirmed in coming quarters. Domestic data remains strong despite coming off the highs of earlier this year. Thanks for the comment. Pete

      Reply

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