Regional domestic tourism in QLD powers ahead…as does disappointment with tourism support in the North

We’re still waiting for the December quarter National Visitor Survey from Tourism Research Australia, which we allow us to see how domestic tourism has been doing region by region. But in the meantime TRA have just released their NVS Monthly Snapshot for December, and what is shows is domestic tourism in regional Queensland powering ahead.

Across the nation domestic tourism expenditure fell by 18.7% for the year to Dec ’20. In NSW the decline was 25.4%, in Victoria 29.1%, and in Queensland was just 5.6%. Th reason for this much better performance certainly wasn’t Brisbane and the Gold Coast (which were down 23.5%) but rather the regions…where expenditures were up 11.7% for the year!

Once we see the full quarterly NVS we will know how TNQ in particular has done, but on the face of this data we can expect to see a reasonable result.

Meanwhile disappointment about the Federal tourism/aviation support package just announced is rife in the Far North. While the whole package has been spruiked as worth $1.2 billion it’s now being suggested (see here) that only about $72 million of that will actually go towards the 800,000 discounted flights (spread over 4-5 months and 13 destination) which are supposed to help the tourism sector in Cairns. With air fares generally accounting for only about 15% of the full cost of a holiday there is genuine scepticism about what impact a 50% reduction in that small proportion of total costs will have on people’s holiday plans. It’s also been widely noted that the Brisbane – Cairns, Adelaide – CairnsĀ  and Canberra – Cairns routes are not included in the package. Time will tell how effective this support will be in getting extra people into the region from May, but at this stage it looks unlikely to change the calculations for firms facing the end of JobKeeper support in a few weeks who are planning what to do with staffing levels.

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