It’s a bumper summer for Qld tourism

Adrian Black |

Summer holidaymakers are on track to pump more than $6 billion into Queensland’s tourism economy, which is back on track after two seasons marred by COVID-19 restrictions.

Queensland and interstate tourists had generated 15 million visitor nights in the month to January 10, up almost 2.5 per cent on 2021, the state’s Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.

“It’s not the full story yet … (but) we do see that there is a absolutely bumper outcome for Queensland’s tourism economy,” Mr Hinchliffe told reporters at Shorncliffe, northeast of Brisbane.

“That’s going to be $3 billion of output for the Queensland visitor economy.” 

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser said the state had held the position as Australia’s number one tourist destination for the past year.

“We’ve had no interruptions from border closures, no interruptions at all from restrictions around travel,” Mr Fraser told reporters.

“People have been able to travel freely around the country, but the place that they have chosen unquestionably … to travel to holiday has been Queensland.”

Mr Fraser said overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland had surpassed pre-pandemic 2019 levels, but international visitor numbers remained low.

“International spending, which is typically around $6 billion a year is still only sitting at around $1 billion,” Mr Fraser said.

Airlines were at capacity, he said, but capacity at airports had not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

There’s a significant amount of effort being delivered by the Queensland Government, by airports and by regional tourism organisations to drive that international capacity,” Mr Fraser said.