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.