Record Domestic Visitors and Spend to Southern Great Barrier Reef in 2016!

After recent statistics revealed increased international visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef (SGBR) Destination, official figures have confirmed record domestic visitors (1.98 Million – up 1.6%) and record overnight visitor expenditure ($1.08 Billion – up 11.6%) to the year ending December 2016!

The National Visitor Survey (NVS) results released this week reveal a total of 1.98 Million domestic visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef Destination to the year ending December 2016, which is made up predominantly of holiday/leisure visitors (616,000 – up 6.2%)), those visiting friends and relatives (VFR) (663,000 – up 22.1%) and business visitors (548,000 – down 21.2%).

The Southern Great Barrier Reef (SGBR) Destination takes in the three regional tourism precincts of Capricorn (Central Highlands/Rockhampton/Capricorn Coast/Keppel Islands,
Gladstone (incl. Town of 1770/Agnes Water) and Bundaberg (incl. Bargara, North Burnett).

Of the 1.98 Million domestic visitors to the SGBR Destination, 1.7 Million were from within Queensland (two main source markets of 527,000 from Brisbane and 479,000 from CQ) and 249,000 were from Interstate, mainly NSW (128,000) and Victoria (57,000).

Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll said “these record results again reflect the great partnership and joint marketing activity between our three tourism regions of Capricorn, Gladstone and Bundaberg. Major growth in leisure and those visiting friends and relatives has counter balanced a decline in business visitors which is reflective of CQ’s mining/resource downturn. However, record expenditure reflects that our visitors are willing to spend more and stay longer whilst visiting our Southern Great Barrier Reef destination.”

Visitor expenditure to the year ending December 2016 to the SGBR destination has reached just over $1.08 Billion and is up 11.6% from the previous year.

Gladstone Area Promotions and Development Ltd (GAPDL) chief executive Darryl Branthwaite said “these record figures of sold growth didn’t just happen, as it comes from strategic marketing, exposure through travel and caravan and camping expos in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, along with connecting with travel agents and writers from across Australia and the world. Each RTO takes an enormous amount of pride in where we live, and this partnership called ‘Southern Great Barrier Reef’ has evolved into a major destination of Australian significance, full of experiences which encourage visitors to not only stay that little bit longer, but spend more while they travel through our regions.”

616,000 holiday/leisure visitors to the SGBR destination resulted in an increase of 6.2% from the previous year to December 2016.

The average length of stay for visitors to the SGBR destination is also up at 4.1 nights and the total number of visitor nights increased by 9.7% to 8.1 Million to the year ending December 2016.

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism (BNBT) General Manager Katherine Reid said “our industry should feel proud of the continued growth of both visitation and expenditure. The strong, supportive partnerships that the co-operative SGBR activity has created, is evident in these numbers for 2016 and the extraordinary visitor experiences being delivered across the destination.”

Mary Carroll, CEO Capricorn Enterprise – 0417 669 286
Darryl Branthwaite, CEO GAPDL – 0427 638 945
Katherine Reid, General Manager, BNBT – 0429 681 770

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