RECORD Holiday makers and Overnight Visitor Spend (OVE) to Southern Great Barrier Reef destination to year ending September 2021!

Tourism Research Australia data for the year ending September 2021 released this week revealed that the Southern Great Barrier Reef (SGBR) destination, is one of the best performing in the State, despite the ongoing effects of COVID-19 to the Queensland and Australian tourism industry.

The SGBR destination (made up of Capricorn, Gladstone and Bundaberg regions) has experienced the highest overnight visitor expenditure (OVE) growth of 39.4% across all 13 Queensland regions to the year ending September 2021 compared to the year ending September 2020, and a growth of 6.8% compared to the year ending September 2019 (pre-Covid).  This equates to a three (3) year growth trend of visitors by 3.5% to the SGBR.

The Capricorn region traversing the Tropic of Capricorn from the Central Queensland Highlands to the Keppel Islands, welcomed 53% or 1.12 Million of all visitors to the SGBR and 49% or 3.944 Million visitor nights to the SGBR in the year ending September 2021, statistics which both increased from the previous year by 18.2% and 4.1% respectively.

The Capricorn region accounted for $597 Million of the $1.3 Billion overnight visitor expenditure (OVE) to the SGBR destination to the year ending September 2021, a 44% increase on the previous year!

Visitors spent an average length of stay of 3.5 nights in the Capricorn region, with every visitor spending $533 during their stay and $151 spend per night. 

Most visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef destination were from within Queensland (Intrastate), and of those, a Record number of 652,000 visitors were from Brisbane (up 36.3% from 2020 and up 3.3%  from 2019) and 217,000 visitors from the Sunshine Coast (up 55.8% from the year ending September 2020 and up 40.5% from the year ending September 2019). 

“We have experienced record holiday visitors, record numbers from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast which is where we have been targeting our marketing so the results are very satisfying.”

Interstate visitors were also up by 27.3% compared to the previous year, with the SGBR welcoming 185,000 southerners to the year ending September 2021.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO, Mary Carroll was pleased to receive this data, which confirms the strength of the SGBR destination.

“Considering the incredible competition from many other regions within Queensland, with far larger budgets than Capricorn, Gladstone and Bundaberg regions combined, we are collectively proud of our efforts in targeting intrastate visitors, particularly from the Sunshine Coast and South East Queensland during another challenging year,” Mary said.

Our region which traverses the Tropic of Capricorn targets 5 key state strategic touring routes (Inland Way, Leichardt Way, Country Way, Pacific Coast Way and the Capricorn Way) which contributes to the fact that 90% of our overall visitor market is domestic drive.”

“Whilst our total visitor economy to the Southern Great Barrier Reef destination is usually a third Holiday Visitor, a third Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) and a third Business Visitor, the growth in the Holiday sector is extremely pleasing with a 48.6% growth to 781,000 visitors to the SGBR to the year ending September 2021.”

“We acknowledge the incredible efforts of our tourism operators, with whom we have worked very hard to not just survive but thrive” Mary said.

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