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Domestic Visitor Growth Continues to Drive Fraser Coast

July 22, 2019 Destination Global No Comments
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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.

Domestic visitation remained our strongest segment, which in the year to March reached 739,000 which was up 7% on the previous year and 3% positive to the three-year average.

The total overnight visitor spend of $432.7m in the year to March was down slightly on the prior year but also well above the average of the previous three years (graph above).

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 12% above the three-year average.

FCTE 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.

Growth in the number of domestic holidaymakers, which was up more than 6%, helped maintain visitor spend, but conversely a resurgence in the visiting friends and relatives’ segment (VFR), which grew 5% to 254,000, had impacted spend because of the lower benefit to the accommodation and restaurant sectors from visitors staying with family.

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.

Intrastate visitation from south-east Queensland remained the strongest domestic visitor segment, which was up 9% on the trend, driven by Brisbane visitation which was up strongly.

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.

On the back of VFR segment improvement, the average length of stay for domestic visitors to the Fraser Coast dropped slightly and the change in the mix also impacted spend per visitor, which was $525. On the positive side, holidaymakers spent on average 4.9 nights in the region, which was up 5.5% on the three-year average.

International visitation continued its recent slow-down and although positive 1% in comparison to the three-year trend, total international visitation of 128,000 was down on an annual basis. Growth in the North American market of 3% had been unable to offset similar declines in both the United Kingdom and Germany markets.

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