International visitors hit seven year high

The Mackay tourism industry is on a high, with international visitor numbers hitting 50,000 for the first time since 2010. It’s also celebrating four quarters of consistent growth.

The recent international visitation statistics, which show a 15.2% increase year on year for The Mackay Region, were released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) today.

The majority of visitors for the July to September 2017 quarter were Europeans (29,000), with the vast number being Germans (9,000), showing a 24.2% growth for this market.

The main reason international tourists came to The Mackay Region was for a holiday (37,000), or to visit friends or relatives (9,000).  The remaining 4,000 visitors were here for business travel.

Mackay Tourism General Manager Tas Webber said the consistent growth was a big win for the tourism industry.

“We’ve been exceeding expectations all year, but these visitation statistics confirm that what we are doing as a tourism industry in Mackay is working,” Mr Webber said.    

“The product is right, the messaging is right and people are now starting to come back to the region and we know it’s for leisure tourism which is a great sign.”

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson said it was great to see consistency, with growth in both international and national visitation numbers this year.

“Mackay has so much to offer tourists, from our tropical rainforests to our 31 pristine beaches,” he said.

“We also offer experiences that you cannot get anywhere else in the world like enjoying a sunrise on the beach with the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough.

“It’s easy to see the attraction of our region to tourists.”

Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park owner Ben Atherton said they had seen the impact of the international visitor growth, with Europeans using Cape Hillsborough as a stopping point as they travel up and down the coast.

“The visitation at our park is made up of around 43% international guests and 56% Australian guests,” Mr Atherton said.

“We are up slightly on international guests from this time last year. Around 13% of them are German visitors, followed closely by the Nertherlands.”

“Our staff have been working hard to sell the different parts of The Mackay Region as well and sending tourists out to Eungella to see the platypus as well as provide them with information on what to do in the region,” he said.

Mr Atherton said they were gearing up for a busy Christmas and New Year period.

“Our occupancy rates are sitting at around 70% for Christmas and 90% for the New Year.”



Melissa Woods - Communications Officer

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Published: 12 December 2017


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