Mackay Reaches a Million Visitors

Today marks a milestone in the history of Mackay, with the region, for the first time ever, recording a million visitors in a year.

The record-breaking year for the region’s tourism industry has been reported in the National Visitor Survey for year ending December 2018, released today by Tourism Research Australia. The NVS recorded a ninth successive quarter of domestic visitor growth, joining the ninth successive quarter of international visitor growth achieved in March.

The new record number of visitors to The Mackay Region is the result of a remarkable 26.4 per cent increase in visitation from 2017. Visitor growth has been fuelled by substantial increases to the holiday, business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives’ markets.

The one million domestic visitors to Mackay stayed over 4 million nights in region, also representing a substantial year on year increase of 7.5 per cent.

Mackay’s tourism industry, and the wider community also has reason to celebrate with a new record for visitor spend. $540.2million was invested into the community by domestic visitors during 2018, representing an increase of 41.1 per cent from 2017, and a three-year trend growth of 20.6 per cent.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the record visitation and expenditure was a wonderful result.

“Surpassing one million visitors to the Mackay region is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates Mackay’s growing appeal as a desirable tourism destination,’’ Cr Williamson said.

”Communities throughout our region provide warm welcomes to visitors and are always eager to share our slice of paradise,’’ he said.

“This community support for tourism is paying off, with a record of more than $540 million in domestic visitor expenditure, which is lucrative return for our economy.

“Council is committed to supporting the growth of our tourism industry and, through key infrastructure projects like the Mackay Waterfront PDA, I’m confident tourism will continue to create jobs and growth for our region.”

One of the many businesses benefiting from Mackay’s booming tourism industry is Lanai Riverside Apartments. Managing Director Karen Nelson explained the surge in visitation to the region.

“Visitors choose The Mackay Region for its natural beauty, abundant wildlife and laid-back, tropical Queensland vibe,” she said.

Ms Nelson continued, “guests to Lanai always marvel at the crystal blue water of the Pioneer River, one of Queensland’s only blue water rivers. We always have guests asking for directions to the famous wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough, or to Eungella National Park to see the platypus.”

“Half a billion in visitor spend represents a significant source of environmentally sustainable investment into the region, and as a business owner, it enables us to create sustainable employment opportunities which is integral to our business success,” said Ms Nelson.

Also welcoming today’s announcement of record visitor growth is Mackay Tourism General Manager Tas Webber.

“Surpassing a million visitors and half a billion in visitor spend is an outstanding achievement for Mackay’s tourism industry. These records are something the Mackay Region community should be proud of,” he said.

“The Mackay Region has now established itself as a desired tourism destination, offering a million visitors a year, unique and memorable nature-based experiences,” said Mr Webber.

Mr Webber continued, “strong and sustained growth in visitation and spend demonstrates the region’s appeal for further private investment. The Mackay Region has significant untapped potential for businesses looking to start up bus or boat tours. More tour operators will help sustain this strong visitor growth and will drive increases in average length of stay and average visitor spend.”



Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

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Published: 20 April 2019 

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