Delayed Intl Visitor data not what TTNQ had been waiting for

We have finally got the much-delayed International Visitor Survey results for the June 2018 quarter from Tourism Research Australia (see here). We should note that TRA acknowledge continued issues with regard to this data and we may see revisions to this data in months to come. Nevertheless, today’s release appears to merely confirm the backwards slide that has been taking place in the Far North for some time now; at least as far as the international market is concerned.

The nationwide data shows international visitors were up by 6.2% for the year to June with total regional expenditure up by 4.8%. The international tourism boom being witnessed across Australia continues apace.

Queensland fared somewhat differently than this but nevertheless saw international visitor numbers up 4.1% with regional expenditure increasing by a very healthy 8.1%. We would argue that the increased expenditure data is the key number here; we would rather see a lift in money being spent by the same number of people than less being spent by more people.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our own area things look very different. International visitor numbers to TNQ fell by 4.2% with regional expenditure down by 2.8% (which equates to a decline of more than 4.5% in real terms). TNQ now accounts for less than 10.3% of all international visitor numbers to Australia…a new low. The slide in TNQ’s performance¬†also sees Queensland’s share of total international visitors hit a new low of just 32.7%.

Visitor numbers from all the region’s major markets were down with China seeing a 4.1% decline, US down 7.3%, the UK down by 7.1% and Japan virtually unchanged.

Fortunately a soaring domestic tourism sector (see here) in the region more than makes up for the slide in the international market with total regional expenditure (including international and domestic overnight and day-trip visits) is up 16.8% for the year.

However, questions really do need to be asked about what the region is doing so badly wrong to be missing out on the international tourism boom being enjoyed in so many other parts of the country.

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