VISITOR NUMBERS UP: Fraser Island's beautiful Lake McKenzie is one of our tourism drawcards.
VISITOR NUMBERS UP: Fraser Island's beautiful Lake McKenzie is one of our tourism drawcards. Mark Seabury

International tourist numbers on the rise for Fraser Coast

MORE international visitors came to the Fraser Coast in 2017 than ever before in a single year, new data has revealed.

About 150,000 people from overseas got a taste of our beautiful region last year, giving local tourism operators something to cheer about.

Total international visitor spending for the year to December was also up 10.5% to $45.4 million, the third highest increase in the State behind Townsville and Brisbane.

The results were revealed in a survey by Tourism Research Australia, which also showed positive results state-wide.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said international visitor expenditure had been building over the past two years with last year's spend a 26.8% improvement on in the 2015 figure.

"Both the visitation and spend trends are positive and continuing to stay positive,” Mr Simons said.

"While the Fraser Coast is smaller in raw numbers, in percentage terms our 10.5% growth outstrips the expenditure gains of 8.2% across Australia and 3.6% in Queensland.”

The average spend per night on the Fraser Coast of $64 was up 23.5% on the previous year and the spend per visitor also increased, up 8.4% to $302.

For the second consecutive survey, growth in German visitors, up 13.3% to 31,000, outstripped other source markets.

More than half-a-million visitors to Queensland last year were from China.

The 503,000 Chinese who visited the Sunshine State in the 12-month period was a record for any single nationality, eclipsing even the heady days of the Japanese obsession with the state in the late '90s and early 2000s.

The 2.7 million travellers who had overnight stays in Queensland last year injected $5.3 billion into the state's economy.

Almost 8 million international visitors spent $28.4 billion in Australia last year while 2.7 million of those visitors spent $5.3 billion in Queensland.

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the results were great news for Queensland's $25 billion tourism industry.

"The latest data shows our industry is going from strength to strength. This has a lot to do with strong growth from our eastern markets like China, Japan, India and Hong Kong,” she said. "We've done a lot of work to attract more direct flights to Queensland, but the job's not over.

"The international tourism market has never been so competitive and it's important we keep rising to the challenge by improving our tourism offering.”



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