NEW FIGURES: Domestic tourists flocking to Fraser Coast
THE Fraser Coast's domestic tourism numbers have continued to surge, according to new figures released by Tourism Research Australia, but fewer international visitors have travelled to the region.
Total Fraser Coast domestic visitation in the year to March reached 739,000 which was more than 3 per cent above the previous reporting period.
Overnight visitation to the region grew to 867,000 in the year to March 2019, up 1% on the previous year and strongly positive on the three-year trend.
Total Queensland visitation of 24.6m was up 12.2 per cent in the same period.
The total overnight visitor spend of $432.7m was slightly down on the previous year, but well above the average of the previous three years.
The bulk of this spend was the $388.4m contributed by overnight domestic visitors.
While this was down year-on-year from the record high of 2018, the year to March 2019 figure was still 11.7 per cent above the three-year average.
Fraser Coast Tourism & Events general manager Martin Simons said the most pleasing aspect about the visitor numbers in the year to March was that the double-digit growth achieved in 2018 held firm, with a slight increase in total visitors.
"The Fraser Coast has enjoyed a period of high growth over the past two years and although the growth had slowed in the current reporting period, the region's tourism position remained strongly positive.
"Including day trippers, total visitation to the Fraser Coast was 1.74 million in the year to March, with total direct visitor spend in the region estimated at $510.8m."
Interstate visitation fell 1.3%, but while this included the period when the By the C concert had been held, it was before the current marketing activity targeting Sydney, Mr Simons said.
The average length of stay for domestic visitors to the Fraser Coast dropped slightly and the change in mix also impacted spend per visitor, which was $525.
On the positive side, holidaymakers spent on average 4.9 nights in region, which was up 5.5% on the three-year average.
International visitation continued its recent slow-down and although positive 0.9% in comparison to the three-year trend, total international visitation was down on an annual basis.
Growth in the North American market of 3 per cent had been unable to offset similar declines in both the United Kingdom and Germany markets.
Mr Simons said the final television segments in the region's $200,000 winter campaign were due to be filmed between July 29 and August 4, with programs on Fraser Island, whale watching and dive the reef and drive a wreck opportunities.
"The scuttling of HMAS Tobruk in June last year and the closeness of Lady Elliot Island has made our reef-wreck diving experience one of the best available on the Australian coast," he said.