The Sunshine Coast attracted the highest ever increase in international visitors with 231,000 arrivals last year, up 19.9% and contributing $266 million in visitor expenditure to the economy.
The International Visitor Statistics were released today by Tourism Research Australia and showed the US continuing to trump other inbound markets with a 48.5% increase in visitors to the Sunshine Coast, with Germany growing 26.1%, Asia 24.9%, and Scandinavia 14.9%. New Zealand remained the Sunshine Coast’s largest inbound market, growing 9.2% in 2016 to 66,000 visitors in the 2016 year.
CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast Simon Latchford said the unprecedented growth and number of international tourists arriving in a single year was showing no sign of slowing down in 2017.
“Today’s International Visitor Survey results highlight the Sunshine Coast is exactly where our international guests want their heads to hit beds, with nearly 300,000 internationals staying 2.86 million nights, representing a 6.3 per cent year on year,” Mr Latchford said.
“The Sunshine Coast remains one of Queensland’s most popular destinations for international visitors – and rightly so – Caloundra, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa have been established for many decades as some of Australia’s favourite beach destinations, but what has been particularly encouraging is the interest in our Hinterland attractions – the adventure options, health retreats, the historic Hinterland villages and the incredible richness of our food producers.
“The way we market our tourism product overseas is starting to pay off with representatives now located in New Zealand, Singapore and Europe. From strategic partnerships with Tourism and Events Queensland, tourism agencies and airlines, Visit Sunshine Coast is working hard to increase our global footprint.
“Recognising Sunshine Coast Councils’ expertise and efforts in securing major events alongside our partnering with industry to develop, market and promote our world‑class attractions, accommodation and food and sector, ensures the Sunshine Coast continues to grow the international market.”
Summary of international visitor statistics to year ending December 2016
- Total visitors 291,000 increase 16.2%
- Holiday visitors 231,000 increase 19.9%
- Expenditure $266 million increase 36.4%
- Total holiday nights 2.86 million nights up 6.3%
- NZ total visitors 66,000 increase 9.2%
- UK total visitors 58,000 increase 6.4%
- Germany total visitors 36,000 increase 26.1%
- US total visitors 22,000 increase 48.5%
- Asia inc Japan & China total visitors 24,000 increase 25.9%
- Scandinavia total visitors 14,000 up 14.9%