Tourism sector still battered but recovering strongly

Tourism is starting to surge back with Queensland leading the recovery, but revenue for the sector is still well below its pre-COVID levels.

Jun 11, 2021, updated Jun 11, 2021
Tourism hotspot Whitehaven Beach

Tourism hotspot Whitehaven Beach

According to data from Tourism Research Australia overnight, spending for March was $6 billion nationally, which is up 58 per cent on the same time in 2020 but down 6 per cent on 2019.

The number of visitors to Queensland increased 57 per cent in March, the number of nights was up 47 per cent and the spend of $1.3 billion was an increase of 88 per cent on the disastrous period last year when restrictions and lockdowns were starting.

The change in spending was by far the biggest increase nationally. The next closest was NSW with a 68 per cent increase.

TRA said March had the smallest declines in overnight spending since the pandemic began.

And if the March figures were compared with the same period in 2019 the spending in Queensland is still 6 per cent below those levels.

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Conus Consultancy economist Pete Faulkner said domestic tourism was powering ahead.

“Within Queensland, the regions outside Brisbane and the Gold Coast are the strongest with expenditures up 88.6 per cent,” Faulkner said.

He said on an annualised basis expenditure was down 42 per cent nationally and 36 per cent in Queensland and regional Queensland was down 26 per cent. Expenditure in Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast was down almost 50 per cent.

“Given the importance of the Tropical North to those regional numbers, we can expect to see a solid out-performance from TNQ when we get the March quarter national visitor survey,” Faulkner said.


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