Qld savouring post-Games tourism boost

The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast boosted Queensland tourism numbers in 2018.
The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast boosted Queensland tourism numbers in 2018.

Queensland is savouring a post-Commonweath Games tourism sugar hit but the challenge is to keep up the momentum.

Coupled with the royal visit from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Sunshine State has enjoyed more international exposure than it has seen in years, according to Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

Despite not having another major event on the calendar, she believes Queensland had turned a corner.

"We are confident that the exposure that came from the Commonwealth Games will continue into the next 12 to 18 months," Ms Jones said

"We have seen an uplift in markets such as Canada, Malaysia and India - Commonwealth countries that tuned in for the Games, making bookings later in the year.

"With the exposure of that and the royal visit to Fraser Island we have got exposure to Queensland that we just haven't had in years. As an industry, we are confident we will see growth moving forward."

The number of visitors from other states and intrastate travellers has jumped 12 per cent in tourism revenue to $17 billion.

Data compiled by Tourism Research Australia showed the number of domestic overnight visitors increased to 22.8 million, a three per cent spike, for the year ending September 2018.

International visitor grew five per cent, with 2,762,000 visitors spending $5.9 billion, up 12 per cent.

University of Queensland tourism expert Sara Dolnicar said the Games would have been a significant factor and the growth was expected.

"The challenge will be is what we do next year," Professor Dolnicar said.

"It doesn't always have to be a major event. There are challenges to increase demand and also disperse demand to get more people to places that are not already tourism hotspots."

China remains the strongest international market for the Sunshine State with more than 500,000 Chinese tourists spending a record $1.4 billion.

Queensland experienced record expenditure from several international markets including Singapore ($167.6 million), Canada ($161.9 million) and France ($101.4 million).

Record visitation was seen from New Zealand (485,000), Taiwan (82,000) and Canada (63,000).

Australian Associated Press