Glitter strip feels impact of global fallout

By: Graham Gardiner


In one of the toughest years for Australia’s tourism, international visitors to the Gold Coast declined by 7.8 percent while

In one of the toughest years for Australia’s tourism, international visitors to the Gold Coast declined by 7.8 percent while spend increased by 4 percent.

More than 790,000 international tourists spent more than $1 billion on the Gold Coast in the 12 months from March 2008 to March 2009, according to Tourism Research Australia.

However, Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter remains sceptical of the billion-dollar holiday splurge.

"The Gold Coast has increased international visitor expenditure and average length of stay which under the circumstances is a positive result for the region, but that doesn’t conceal the fact there are simply less tourists coming to Australia at the moment," he says.

While the number of international visitors to Queensland exceeded 2 million over the period, this figure is down by 6.5 percent from the previous year.

On the upside, spending was up by 0.5 percent to $16.97 billion.

Australia-wide, international visitors topped 5 million, down by 1.6 percent year-on-year.

Once again, the amount spent by international visitors across the country came as a welcome relief, up by 4.3 percent to $16.97 billion.

"These figures reflect industry expectations, businesses out there know recovery from a global financial crisis doesn’t happen in one or two quarters, but you can guarantee times will get better and the Gold Coast will continue to fight for every tourist," Winter says.

The top-three international source markets by visitor number were New Zealand, Japan and China.

While pulling significant numbers for Australian tourism, these locations are not immune to the financial downturn, decreasing 8.1 percent, 18 percent and 22.4 percent respectively.

The best-performing international arrivals by visitor growth include Malaysia, US and Germany, all of which increased over the year.

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