Queensland attracted 2,135,142 international tourists in 2005 — an increase of more than 80,000 on the previous year, Tourism Minister Margaret Keech said today.
Mrs Keech said not only did Queensland attract more tourists, but they stayed longer, and spent more money while here.
“It is not surprising we welcomed a record number of international visitors — up almost 4 per cent on the previous year — considering we have the best tourism product,” she said.
“By comparison, New South Wales recorded a 3.8 per cent increase and Victoria a 2.2 per cent hike in international visitation.
“But where we did well was visitor nights, with our 30,021,827 million up by 7.6 per cent - or more than double the national average. NSW saw a 3 per cent increase, but visitor nights plunged 5.6 per cent for Victoria.
“Overall, international visitors spent 2.1 million more nights here in 2005 than the year before.”
Mrs Keech said the United States (up 13.8 per cent or 19,809 visitors), Europe (up 12.4 per cent or 22,956 visitors) and New Zealand (up 8.8 per cent or 33,532 visitors) markets all performed well.
“Much of the growth can be attributed to increased air capacity and direct flights coming out of Asia and the west coast of the United States into Brisbane,” she said.
“This is a lucrative market for Queensland with American visitors spending on average $108 per day while in Australia.
“The American market also grew in the business sector with an 11.2 per cent increase.
“There was also a 25.2 per cent increase in the number of Americans visiting friends and relatives while Europe and New Zealand markets performed well in the holiday and leisure market segments (up 17.6 per cent and 16.1 per cent respectively).”
Mrs Keech said Queensland followed the national trend in Japanese visitor numbers, with a 5.5 per cent decline for the year.
“Japan is one of our top five markets and the industry is putting a lot of effort into understanding the reasons for the shift in consumer demand to shorter breaks and close-to-home holiday destinations and how we can best respond to recapture market share.
“Next week, I will lead a high-level Queensland delegation to Japan and Korea for talks with the relevant airlines and inbound tour operators.
“Our key objective is to strengthen industry partnerships and ensure everything possible is being done to secure market growth.”
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