Annual visitor numbers down but longer-term trend positive

ANNUAL Fraser Coast visitation figures were down by 2.7% for the year but rose by 2.9% on a three-year trend basis.

According to Tourism Research Australia's latest National Visitor Survey, interstate visitors increased their travel to the region by a significant 12.3%, 

Fraser Coast Opportunities general manager David Spear said holiday-makers were also staying longer on the Fraser Coast with visitor nights increasing by 18.8%, however they were spending less while in the region with expenditure down 9.9% but still at a healthy $294.2 million for the year.

"The growth in interstate visitors by 12.3% to approximately 130,000 is very pleasing and while visitor numbers were slightly down for the year, those who travelled to the Fraser Coast stayed longer," he said.

"While there is still work to be done, recording increased visitor numbers over a three-year trend means we have good programs in place and are heading in the right direction."

He said FCO continued to work in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland on marketing initiatives for the region including promoting the area as part of the Australia's Nature Coast and Australia's signature whale watching destination.

Mr Spear said the Fraser Coast's recently completed Destination Tourism Plan also provided a clear blueprint for actions that would extend length of stay and visitor spend.

"The DTP includes key strategies to promote the region's world-class iconic experiences of whale watching and Fraser Island, while growing other unique hero and niche attractions and events," he said.

Mr Spear said a high priority was placed on positioning the Fraser Coast as the home of Australian fishing.

He said the plan would help the region meet a visitor expenditure target of $759 million by 2020, in turn supporting the State Government reach its overall target of $30 billion.

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