Christmas comes early for Qld tourism

QUEENSLAND is set for a golden summer - in more ways than one.

Extraordinary new research from Tourism and Events Queensland reveals almost a fifth of all Australians will holiday in the Sunshine State over the summer break in a $3 billion bonanza for the Queensland economy.

The data, taken from surveys of prospective travellers, suggests 18 per cent of Aussies will holiday in Queensland this summer, up more than 400,000 on the same period last year.

The massive influx is also tipped to pour an extra $300 million in to the coffers of the state's tourism operators.

The $3 billion windfall for just a few weeks work will be the perfect start to realising a long-held ambition for the state's tourism industry to generate $30 billion next year.

This year, Easter delivered an estimated $2 billion bonanza, albeit in a more condensed time frame.

About 60 per cent of Aussies are planning domestic summer breaks with a third of those to be in Queensland.

The findings, which won't be officially corroborated until figures from Tourism Research Australia are compiled early next year, should see Queensland again close the gap on southern rivals NSW and Victoria, which at times relegated Queensland to third place in tourism stats in recent years.

The research also suggests Queensland holiday-makers will spend more than those visiting other states, with 58 per cent of those surveyed intending to spend more than $1000 on their trip, compared to only 46 per cent in Victoria and 45 per cent in NSW.

Adam and Izabella Stambanis from Melbourne with their children Ava, 6, and Cooper, 10, and niece Emily, 14, pictured on holidays at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Adam and Izabella Stambanis from Melbourne with their children Ava, 6, and Cooper, 10, and niece Emily, 14, pictured on holidays at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said it promised to be a golden summer for the state's tourism industry.

"It will be a tourism bonanza for Queensland," she said.

"Christmas has well and truly come early this year.

"We're expecting shops to be packed, restaurants and eateries to be full and they'll be backed out the doors at theme parks and attractions.

"It's great for business.

"More marketing than ever before and new tourism attractions and products across the state will combine to make this one of the best Christmas holiday periods in recent memory for local businesses."

In other findings from the research, the Gold Coast remains the region most likely to be visited (48% of planned Queensland holidays), followed by Brisbane (32%), the Sunshine Coast (27%) and Tropical North Queensland and Southern Great Barrier Reef (both 9%), while couples' escapes and family vacations are most popular for those intending to holiday in Queensland.



THE Sunshine State has taken out the title for the country's best beaches and islands for holiday-makers, according to data to be released by travel giant Expedia.

The Expedia research, which comes ahead of a predicted golden summer for Queensland tourism, found that more than 40 per cent of interstate travellers give the golden sand and crystal clear water top spot on the list of Aussie beaches.

No other state rated as highly.

Queensland came in second choice for shopping and in third place for adventure sports, while it was also rated the top destination for family holidays with 50 per cent of domestic travellers visiting for family time.

Expedia's director of market management Alejandro Moxey said Queensland was again proving to the most popular destination for family and beach holidays.

"Domestic travellers are increasingly choosing Queensland as their top family holiday destination, with those who book via online travel agents spending more, and staying longer," he said.

"People are choosing Queensland because of its beautiful beaches and attractions, which we know is one of the Gold Coast's most spectacular offerings."

Melbourne's Adam Stambanis, on holidays on the Gold Coast with his wife, two children and niece, said he was not surprised by the findings.

"That's why we come here," he said.

"The weather, the beaches, the theme parks, it's got everything you want in a holiday."