August 27, 2019
New data from Tourism Research Australia (TRA) estimates the South Burnett received 687,000 visitors in 2018, or about 13,211 per week.
Those visitors stayed an average of three nights and contributed $114 million to the region’s economy, with an average spend of $167 per trip.
However, according to the TRA, neighbouring regions did even better during the past year.
Western Downs, for example, hosted 780,000 visitors in 2018. They stayed an average of four nights and contributed $157 million to Western Downs’ economy, with an average spend of $201 per trip.
This was dwarfed by Toowoomba, which played host to 2.94 million visitors who stayed an average four nights in the Garden City, contributing $667 million to Toowoomba’s economy and spending an average $201 per trip.
And Gympie hosted 1.24 million visitors who stayed an average three nights, adding $240 million to that region’s economy with an average spend of $193 per visit.
The data is contained in TRA’s Local Government Area Profiles, which provide estimates of tourist visits and average spending in Australia’s regions to December 2018.
TRA assembles its data from surveying outbound international tourists and domestic tourists.
It then spreads its findings across Australian Bureau of Statistics data for Local Government Areas to estimate what tourism is contributing to regional economies.
TRA admits on its website this method has limitations.
Estimates can be based on sample sizes as small as 40 people.
As well, data collection relies on the memories of tourists about what they spent during a trip, and where.
Nonetheless, the TRA report has heartened South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell.
The Mayor said on Tuesday he believed the figures showed a resurgence in local tourism was occurring because TRA’s estimates rose Queensland-wide in 2018.
“After changing tack in 2017, the figures released from TRA prove that growth is occurring across the tourism industry, with higher growth in visitors and spending,” he said.
The Mayor said he would like to encourage tourists to visit Council’s tourism website or call in to one of the region’s five Visitor Information Centres to get more information when planning a trip.