Monthly Snapshot data for July from Tourism Research Australia released today shows that, despite the start of lockdowns taking effect in NSW and Victoria, domestic tourism in regional Queensland remained very strong (as it has been since the latter part of last year). Clearly Queenslanders are still travelling, and spending, within Queensland.
Throughout Australia domestic tourism expenditure in July was up 20% from the previous year. However, in Queensland the increase was a huge 76% with Brisbane & the Gold Coast up 27% while regional Queensland jumped 100%. When we consider the data for the past 12 months we see total expenditure across the nation was up just 5% since the same time in 2020. Queensland registered a 18% increase from a 34% jump in the regions and Brisbane & the Gold Coast down 1%.
The outperformance of Queensland’s regions becomes even more stark if we compare July to the same month in 2019, before any COVID impacts. Domestic tourism expenditure across Australia is down 43% over the two-year period. Queensland is down 17% but the regions have managed a 9% increase while Brisbane & the Gold Coast fell 54%.
This monthly snapshot data from the TRA does not allow us to breakdown individual regions within ‘regional Queensland’ so we cannot have certainty about how the TNQ region has done from this data. Nevertheless the National Visitor Survey data for the year to June 2021 (see here for details) showed domestic expenditure in TNQ was up by 9.5% for the year to June which was substantially lower than the June monthly snapshot data for the regions which showed a 19.6% increase for the same period. While TNQ did well relative to the national and State averages in June the region clearly did not do as well as regional Queensland more broadly. We can expect that a similar scenario is playing out in July, particularly given the region’s reliance on air travel from the southern Capital cities.