Fraser Coast records strong growth in domestic visitors
The latest tourism snapshot has painted a positive picture for the Fraser Coast, with the destination more than doubling Queensland’s overall growth in domestic visitors.
The National Visitor Statistics (NVS), released by Tourism Research Australia for the year ending March 2016, show an increase in domestic travellers to the Fraser Coast of 21% to 619,000, compared with Queensland’s overall growth of 9%.
Visitors from Brisbane and regional Queensland led the charge with intrastate visitation growing 20% to 468,000. Brisbane’s fondness of the region was evident with it being the largest single source market accounting for 158,000 travellers, although this was 7% down on the corresponding period last year.
Interstate visitation was also encouraging, growing 24% to 151,000 with the bulk of the travellers coming from Sydney and Melbourne.
Locals rolled out the welcome mat for Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) with the sector growing 52% for the reporting period.
Overall, visitor nights totalled 2.5 million which was a decrease of 6% and expenditure fell 15%, partly attributable to the growth of the VFR market which is lower yielding.
Approximately 45% of all visitors (276,000) arrived for holiday purposes, representing a slight proportional increase.
Invest Fraser Coast (FCO) Interim General Manager, Leigh Bennett, said the report had again reinforced the strong interest in visiting the Fraser Coast with tremendous growth in overall numbers.
“This time a year ago we were thrilled with the expenditure increases we were seeing when our traditional VFR market transitioned to a higher yielding holiday market,’’ he said.
“The VFR market has transitioned back, impacting the tourism expenditure which we are certainly working to counteract.
“Already the caravans are arriving from the south which means we are into the winter months which are a fantastic time for tourism on the Fraser Coast.
“The humpbacks will soon be here so the Fraser Coast region can embrace its place as a world leading whale watch destination,’’ Mr Bennett said.
“Our winter campaign was implemented in mid-April which was a month earlier and increasingly includes a diversified message about all the things to see and do on the Fraser Coast.
“This is designed to hold our visitors here for an extra couple of days which is a crucial strategy in the current marketplace,’’ he said.
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