Exceptional recovery for Capricorn region post-pandemic

Comparative year on year data, presented by the world’s leading scientific benchmarking group for travel and tourism EarthCheck, has revealed that the Capricorn region placed third nationally percentage wise in terms of its tourism recovery.

“The data compared the recovery rate of holiday visitors in the year ending December 2021 with the 2019 year, across the seventy-five tourism regions in Australia,” shared EarthCheck’s Principal Consultant, Strategy and Market Insights, Wayne Carlson.

“Furthermore, the Capricorn pandemic recovery gap for holiday visitors year ending December 2021 was +36.8% and an additional 100,000 holiday visitors in 2021 than 2019,” said Wayne.

With holiday makers accounting for over two thirds of the destination’s visitation, the research confirmed that the Capricorn footprint, which extends from the Keppel Islands to the Central Queensland Highlands remains a very popular choice for more than 1.1 million visitors per year. 

During 2021, visitors to the Capricorn region spent a total of $637 million across a total of 3,574,000 nights in comparison to the pre-pandemic results of 2019 which showed expenditure of $617 million across 4,509,000 nights.

The research extracted data from Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey results, for the year ended December 2021 and compared the rolling twelve-month holiday visitor numbers with the 2019 full year results.

The Capricorn region, together with Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and Western Australia’s north-west ranked in the top three, all showing signs of rapid bounce back in holiday visitor numbers.

Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic to the Australian tourism industry, visitation to the Capricorn region has remained consistent and positive across the past three years, with major events such as BEEF21 attributing to these successful visitation numbers.

Amid the pandemic, as restrictions disrupted the tourism industry, Capricorn Enterprise campaigned to self-drive holiday makers, showcasing wide-open spaces, endless beaches, and expansive national parks, to entice intra and interstate visitors to holiday here and escape the crowds.

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

“While domestic visitor nights sharply declined in early 2020 as a result of the nationwide pandemic-induced lockdown, we quickly began to see our Queensland self-drive market increase,” Mary said.

“Our region which traverses the Tropic of Capricorn targets five 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.”

“We saw many holiday makers who were already on the road, choosing to wait out the lockdowns in campgrounds across the Tropic of Capricorn. And as soon as it was possible, we saw our Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) travel increase as family reunited.”

“I am extremely proud of the local operators across our entire destination who have demonstrated unwavering resilience and focus over the past three years,” Mary said.

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