Conferences

Domestic spending up in North QLD as TTNQ holds first in-person event in two years

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) held its first in-person get together in over two years on Tuesday, revealing Aussie visitors spent a record $2.7 billion in Tropical North Queensland during 2021 despite closed borders.

TTNQ CEO Mark Olsen said overnight domestic visitor expenditure was up 9.3 per cent from 2019 on the back of record intrastate visitation of 1.5 million.

“TTNQ has been actively targeting the Australian travellers who would typically travel overseas and this has helped increase spend per night by 20 per cent on pre-COVID levels to $269 with an average of $1,383 spent on each holiday,” Olsen said.

“We have worked very hard to push our world-class experiences as a necessary part of any holiday in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef and visitors are increasingly choosing quality accommodation for their stay.

“TTNQ partnered with Tourism and Events Queensland on campaigns such as Cairns Holiday Dollars which highlighted the many experiences that international visitors enjoy.”

Olsen said total domestic visitor numbers grew 37 per cent from 2020 to 2 million, but remained 11 per
cent below pre-COVID levels.

“The strongest growth came from Brisbane residents with an increase of 10.8 per cent to a record 291,000 compared to 2019,” Olsen said.

“Just 460,000 of our visitors were from interstate, which is not surprising given continued border closures throughout 2021.”

TTNQ’s conference took place at Rydges World Square in Sydney where attendees could reconnect with fellow travel industry workers after a tough two years.

Cairns Luxury Car Hire, Pullman Cairns International, Bad Fishy Jet Boating launches Cairns River Cruises, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas – CrocArena, and many more were there to reunite with the industry.

“We had a couple of false starts last year and if I think back to this time last year we had a bit of a positive vibe,” said Michael Nelson, the managing director of Pinnacle Tourism Marketing and chair of the Far North QLD Tour Operators Association.

“We thought maybe we were through COVID, but then along came the Delta variant and pushed us right back.

“So this is the first real destination initiative that we’ve got, that’s really got some confidence behind it to say ‘this feels like it’s a little bit in the revision mirror, and maybe we can start pushing forward with great confidence into the international market,” Nelson concluded.



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