Record Number of Visitors to Mackay

Record numbers of visitors and visitor spend has been achieved by The Mackay Region, according to data released today by Tourism Research Australia.

For year ending September 2018, the International Visitor Survey (IVS) recorded 60,000 international visitors to The Mackay Region.

The same period also saw a record 924,000 domestic visitors, experience all that The Mackay Region has to offer. 211,000 of these domestic visitors sought out Mackay for the primary purpose of a holiday, representing a year on year increase of 30.1 per cent.

With international visitation up 20.8 per cent, and domestic visitation up 1.8 per cent, The Mackay Region is closing in on reaching a million visitors for the first time, with 984,000 visitors recorded for year ending September 2018.

Increased visitation has coincided with increases in the number of nights spent in the region. 4.2 million domestic visitor nights (an increase of 19.6 per cent) and 461,000 international visitor nights (an increase of 0.8 per cent) were recorded.

Today’s announcement was welcomed by Mackay Tourism Chair, Michele Shea.

“984,000 visitors over 12 months is a record for The Mackay Region, and demonstrates the region is booming as a tourism destination”, she said.

Mrs. Shea continued by saying, “Mackay has the scenic locations, abundant wildlife and untouched beauty, to establish itself as a highly sought-after destination for visitors across Queensland, Australia and the world. This data shows that we are on the right track in developing the region’s tourism industry.”

Record breaking visitation also looks set boost the local Mackay and Isaac economies with record visitor expenditure.

Domestic and international visitors injected $468 million and $16.9 million into the local economy respectively. This represented increases of 14.5 per cent for domestic visitor spend, and 20.8 per cent for international visitor spend.

Deputy Mayor Amanda Camm congratulated the local tourism industry on the success.

“Nearly half-a-billion dollars in visitor spend represents a significant investment for the Mackay economy,” Cr Camm said.

“Mackay Regional Council is committed to supporting our vital tourism industry, with a number of developments, including our Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area, set to help bolster visitation to the region,” she said.

“With these developments, a stellar events calendar for 2019 and the region’s Nature, Reserved branding, we’re confident the Mackay region will continue to set new records for visitor numbers and spend, and will remain a champion for economic growth for our region.”

The latest NVS and IVS data comes as no surprise to local tourism operators who have been kept busy with the increased demand from visitors.

Strong visitor growth looks set to continue for Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park Owners Ben and Renae Atherton, who have enjoyed a busy Christmas period and are confident this will continue for the remainder of the school holidays.

“Today’s announcement of record numbers of visitors is something Mackay’s tourism operators, and the local community can all be proud of”, they said.

Renae Atherton said, “The Christmas and New Year holiday period saw Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park swarmed with new and familiar faces. Families and friends came together to disconnect from the everyday and reconnect with each other and nature, all whilst celebrating the year that’s been”.

Mrs Atherton continued “this Holiday period guests took advantage of our parks recently install water slides and new amenity block. The water slides proved to be a crowd favourite providing hours of entertainment to the young and young at heart”.



Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

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Published: 9 January 2019 

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