Tourists spend up big in Queensland


BRISBANE (Tourism Queensland) - One in every four tourist dollars spent in Australia is spent in Queensland, Tourism Minister Margaret Keech told Parliament today.

Mrs Keech said Queensland contributed almost $17 billion of the total $64 billion national spend by domestic and international visitors.

"Tourism Research Australia's report, Travel expenditure by Domestic and International Visitors in Australia's Regions, shows Queensland has enjoyed massive growth in visitor expenditure," she said.

"That's great news because more tourists spend more, and more spending means more jobs for Queenslanders in regional Queensland."

Mrs Keech said domestic overnight expenditure in Queensland totalled almost $10 billion - an increase of 5.7 per cent on the previous year.

"Domestic visitors to the Gold Coast spent $2.8 billion, Brisbane accounted for $1.7 billion, the Sunshine Coast $1.5 billion, Tropical North Queensland $1.3 billion and the Whitsundays $425 million," she said.

"These regions collectively accounted for three-quarters of Queensland's total overnight visitor expenditure.

"The report also revealed strong international visitor expenditure in 2004, with tourists spending $2.7 billion.

"International expenditure in Queensland increased by 9.3 per cent between 2003 and 2004, well above the 6.1 per cent national increase over the period.

"Spending was concentrated in Tropical North Queensland, with a total of $802 million, Brisbane with $695 million, the Gold Coast $669, Sunshine Coast $144 million and $137 million for the Whitsunday region."

Mrs Keech said research revealed that of all the developed Queensland regions, Tropical North Queensland and the Sunshine Coast experienced the greatest international spending growth - each up 12.5 per cent.

"This information helps us tailor marketing campaigns and it is also exciting to have a dollar figure of what tourism is worth to our regions," she said.

"And it shows just how important regional Queensland is to the State's economy."

Mrs Keech said the Beattie Government would not be resting on its laurels.

"Queensland is the best tourism destination in the world. That's why we're so popular," she said.

"We want to share what we have with the rest of Australia, and the world.

The Beattie Government is determined to increase our market share. That's why the Premier and I have recently launched the Queensland Tourism Strategy - a 10-year blueprint for the tourism industry.

"More tourists mean more jobs for Queenslanders - in communities right across the State.

"And job creation is a Beattie Government priority."

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