15/03/2017

Justin Bieber in good company as visitor numbers soar at Sunshine and Fraser Coasts

Justin Bieber might be the latest celebrity to visit the Sunshine Coast – but Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien can confirm the pop idol is treading a well-worn path, with international visitor numbers rising 16% to 291,000 people.

Mr O’Brien said the latest tourism data shows the Fraser Coast has also seen a 16% increase to 147,000 international visitors in the past year, adding $40 million to the local economy.

The International Visitor Survey, released today, shows visitors to the Sunshine Coast spent $916 per person on their trip, bringing in $266 million, while visitors to the Fraser Coast spent $271 per person.

“The figures released today show more people are visiting the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast, and when they visit, they are also spending more money which is a great boost for local jobs,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Visitor numbers have increased 33% for the Sunshine Coast compared to three years ago, and the Fraser Coast has had a 22% rise in international tourists in that time.”  

The 2016 International Visitor Survey, produced by Tourism Research Australia, showed visitors also stayed longer, with international tourists staying 2,862,000 nights at the Sunshine Coast and 788,000 at the Fraser Coast nights, an increase of 6% and 67% respectively over the past year.

“The survey clearly demonstrates the tourism industry is going from strength to strength, and shows the industry’s value in driving local jobs and economic growth,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This growth is forecast to continue, and tourism remains an important focus for the Coalition Government.”

The Coalition Government is acting to further harness the growth in tourists from key Asian nations including through a landmark open aviation market between China and Australia increasing aviation capacity, trial of 10 year multiple entry visas and enabling Chinese nationals to apply for visitor visas online.

A recent announcement of additional flights between Indonesia and Australia will also increase flight capacity by up to 13 per cent and initiatives such as streamlining visas in key markets like Indonesia will further stimulate visitors.

To support the tourism industry to grow further the Coalition Government has committed a record $639 million for Tourism Australia to market Australia overseas.

The International Visitor Survey is available on the Tourism Research Australia website: www.tra.gov.au