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International tourists are spending more time and money in the city, injecting a record $1.4 billion into the Gold Coast’s economy last year as they not only flocked to the beaches and theme parks, but also the educational institutions.
International Visitor Survey data to be released today reveals 2018 was a record-breaking year for the city, with international visitors staying longer – an astounding total of 10 million nights – and spending more following the success of last year’s Commonwealth Games.
But it was not just all about having a holiday. The number who came from overseas to the Gold Coast for education increased by more than 20 per cent.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said records tumbled across the state as international visitors flocked to Queensland.
“International visitors spent a record $5.9 billion (across the state) last year, which is great news for Queensland’s tourism industry and more than 200,000 workers who rely on this sector for a living,” she said.
“These figures show that our strategic focus on high-value travellers is delivering a strong return for Queensland.
“In the last year, we’ve seen 13.3 per cent growth in international visitor expenditure – growing faster than NSW and Victoria.”
The survey, covering the year ending in December, revealed:
* Visitor expenditure in the region grew 17.9 per cent to a record $1.4 billion.
* The amount of money tourists spent per night increased 9.4 per cent to $142.
* The number of nights spent in the region increased by 7.8 per cent to 10 million.
* The average length of stay on the Gold Coast was 9.6 nights, up by 0.6 nights
The survey’s results say the increase in the number of nights was driven by the spike in education visitors.
Their numbers increased to a record 24,000 and the number of education visitor nights increased by 32.6 per cent to a record 2.5 million.
Education visitors stay longer than other visitor types, with an average length of stay of 103.3 nights, up 9.6 nights over the year.
Gold Coast-based Assistant Tourism Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Gold Coast’s results bolstered the state’s economy, with Queensland continuing to build its international tourism market share on the back of record international visitor expenditure.
“The data shows the Gold Coast’s tourism industry is growing from strength to strength,” she said.
“Our economy relies on a strong tourism industry and we will continue to invest in this sector to create more tourism jobs on the Gold Coast.”
The number of visitors from several countries saw double-digit increases:
• New Zealand jumped 11.5 per cent to a record 213,000.
• The US market grew 10.2 per cent to 41,000.
• Canadian visitors increased 28.5 per cent to 21,000
• Indian tourists went up 19.1 per cent to 38,000
• Singapore tourists increased 18.5 per cent to 34,000.
Spanish tourist Estel Garriga said she had come to the Gold Coast to be with her boyfriend, but also so she could study an English course.
She said she would be staying for another month and was making the most of her time in the city, visiting touristic spots such as the beach.
“I love it here,” she said. “All the surroundings are amazing, I love the Gold Coast.”
Gold Coast and state tourism bosses have ramped up the push for new tourism infrastructure in the past year in a bid to further increase the city’s international visitor numbers and length of stay.
While hopes of a Hinterland cableway are yet to become a reality, plans for a dive site are moving ahead, as is a proposed $600 million theme park at Carrara.
TripAdvisor this week named the Gold Coast as Australia’s No. 2 destination, behind Sydney.
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin