The Sunshine Coast has outperformed its SEQ neighbours in tourism growth, experiencing the best increase in visitor numbers, according to the latest data.
While Brisbane and Gold Coast holiday visitations had modest or no gains in the year to September 2018, the Sunshine Coast welcomed many more new arrivals.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said international visitors to the Sunshine Coast rose a whopping nine per cent to 319,000 while the Gold Coast had only a one per cent increase.
Domestic overnight stays on the Sunshine Coast also increased two per cent to 3,493,000 visits compared to the Gold Coast which dropped two per cent and Brisbane which remained stagnant.
Tellingly, the Sunshine Coast is fast catching up to the Gold Coast (which had 3,619,000 domestic visitors) as the preferred beach destination for Aussie travellers.
Mr O’Brien said the latest results from Tourism Research Australia proved the Sunshine Coast was one of the most popular beach destinations in Australia.
“In the year to September 2018 we’ve seen more than 3.8 million domestic and international visitors flock to the Sunshine Coast which is testament to our local tourism operators and great news for local businesses and the local economy which benefit from every dollar spent.
“In an ever busy world, people are increasingly attracted to the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast, our pristine beaches and hinterland and our fantastic summer vibe.
“The whole region has been alive with visitors over the Christmas and New Year period and I am not one bit surprised.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham welcomed the results saying more travellers on the Sunshine Coast meant more people in local restaurants, staying in local hotels and visiting local tourist attractions.
“It’s encouraging to see international travellers continue to flock to our shores and enjoy all that our country has to offer,” Minister Birmingham said.
“These latest results show 2.84 million international travellers chose to travel beyond our capital cities and spent time in the bush, at the coast or even in the outback.
“Today’s results are also good news for the Sunshine Coast as the more tourists we attract, the more they contribute to the local economy and the more they spend in local businesses.”
“Our Liberal-National Government continues to deliver record funding to Tourism Australia for cutting-edge campaigns such as Undiscover and Dundee, and these latest results demonstrate how these campaigns are helping to lure more tourists down under.
The latest International Visitor Survey results are available at: www.tra.gov.au.