International visitors to the Fraser Coast on the rise
INTERNATIONAL tourism on the Fraser Coast is finally coming out of a years-long slump, new figures show.
About 120,000 overseas visitors brought in $37.7million to the Fraser Coast last year, spending an average $306.58 each.
Overall, international tourism numbers increased by 4.5% compared to the previous year thanks in part to a turnaround in visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe.
It is the first time since at least 2011 the year-on-year figures, released by Tourism and Events Queensland, have grown rather than shrunk. Factors such as natural disasters and a poor European economy all contributed to the decline.
International tourists travelling to the Fraser Coast declined by 10% in 2012 and by 24% in 2011.
The 2013 total international visitor number is still below the 2011 level of 128,000 total visitors.
But last year's increase is a sign the region could be returning to pre-global financial crisis visitor levels.
Fraser Coast Opportunities tourism manager Robbie Cornelius said: "we have turned the corner".
"We will get back to those levels," he said.
Mr Cornelius said it was hard to determine when the figures would go back up, but FCO was confident they would return.
He said Canada, Switzerland and France had all shown strong growth for the Fraser Coast.
He said the UK market also showed a significant comeback.
The UK and Germany make up most visitors to the Fraser Coast.