The weather crisis of 2011 was blamed for a serious downturn in tourism and, while visitor numbers fell sharply last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown Queensland recorded the nation’s second highest revenue from tourist accommodation in the September quarter of $592 million.
For the 12 months to the end of September, the ABS data showed that Queensland’s room nights increased, room accommodation was up, bed occupation increased and accommodation revenue rose $75 million to $2.1 billion.
Guest arrival numbers fell by 160,000 for the year but tourists were staying longer in Queensland than any other state at an average 2.7 days.
Queensland Tourism industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said while the leisure market suffered badly, business travel had boomed, especially in Brisbane and the mining cities of Mackay and Gladstone.
“Brisbane has been going very strongly because of mining and sporting and cultural events,” he said. “That has buoyed the average figure.”
He said other regional tourism operators were hurting.
Internet booking operator Wotif.com said while Sydney and Melbourne were still the top destinations booked through its site, the Gold Coast and Brisbane ranked third and fourth last year.
Queensland had eight of the top 20 destinations.
Megan Magill of Wotif Brands said the list was compiled from more than 250,000 bookings a month.
Top 20 destinations
3 Gold Coast
7 Sunshine Coast
14 Launceston, Tamar Valley
15 Port Douglas
16 Port Macquarie
17 Coffs Harbour
18 Byron Bay
20 Airlie Beach