Tourism Investment Paying Dividends

The Mackay Region is reaping the rewards of investment into tourism infrastructure and products, according to the latest data from Tourism Research Australia.

The International Visitor Survey (IVS), released today, has been highlighted by substantial increases in international visitor expenditure into The Mackay Region.

For year ending March 2019, international visitation generated $19 million in investment for the Mackay-Isaac economy, a remarkable year on year increase of 18.1 per cent.

The number of international visitors to The Mackay Region has also continued its upward trajectory, with 52,000 visitors recorded to year ending March 2019 – this figure representing a three-year trend growth of 7.7 per cent.

Driving the increased visitor expenditure, was a 57.7 per cent increase in average visitor spend per night, now sitting at $53, and the average spend per visitor, up 21.8 per cent to $362.

Mayor Greg Williamson said it was great to see international visitors coming into our region and spending more while holidaying here.

"The international tourism market is not an easy one to tap into," Cr Williamson said. "As a region, you really need to stand out from the crowd."

"So for us to register an increase of 18.1 per cent in international visitor expenditure means we are doing a lot of things right," he said.

Cr Williamson attributed much of that growth to our region's ability to successfully market our one-of-a-kind natural experiences, such as watching platypus at Eungella or wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough.

"Council, Mackay Tourism, industry and other stakeholders have worked hard to build upon these natural experiences with marketing, infrastructure and development projects to ultimately increase visitor spend," he said.

"The Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program has also been successful in increasing Mackay's appeal to international visitors.

"Events like the Rumble on the Reef, the International Pro Darts Series and the Wagyu Association Australia Conference have drawn international competitors, attendees and supporters to Mackay and helped establish Mackay as a centre for major events."

More council-supported events with international-pull are also on the horizon, including the 2019 Oceania Masters Athletics tournament, 2019 Etnies Rumble on the Reef, 2019 Mackay Mountain Bike Cross Country Classic and the 2020 Rotary Emerging Convention.

Benefiting from investment into tourism and the subsequent visitor expenditure is Mackay Aqua Park Owner Amanda Pelagalli.

"Since opening Mackay Aqua Park, we've seen an ever-increasing number of international visitors" she said.

"Germany and France were our largest source of international visitors this season. Many are backpackers who have travelled down from the Whitsundays to visit the Aqua Park and explore our region's natural encounters," explained Ms Pelagalli.

She continued, "the more investment into tourism, the greater the returns and benefits will be to our community, as an increasing number of international visitors will actively seek out Mackay and spend the money that supports job growth across our industry."

Mackay Tourism General Manager Tas Webber, also hailed the significant investment from international visitation, as detailed in the IVS.

"International visitation is a vital component to our tourism industry and generates economic and jobs growth across The Mackay Region," he said.

Mr Webber continued, "Mackay Tourism, through the support of our members and stakeholders, has worked to develop international ready products that can be marketed into places like Germany and the United Kingdom."

"Just last week, Mackay Tourism hosted a group of German travel wholesalers on a famil throughout the region. Programs like this, and Mackay Tourism's attendance at the Australian Tourism Exchange earlier this year, has helped put our region on the international map. With further investment, Mackay will continue to grow rapidly as a must visit tourism destination for international travellers," he said.

On the national level, for year ending March 2019, 8.5 million visitors travelled to Australia, injecting $30.6 billion in the nation's economy.



Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

0448 994 180

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Published: 19 June 2019 

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