As the silly season gets underway with domestic visitors flocking to the Douglas region in their droves, accommodation providers and tourism operators are eagerly anticipating a strong start to the new year with solid forward bookings for the coming months.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) executive officer Tara Bennett said driving this was international bookings from key western markets such as the US and Europe.
“As domestic visitors begin to drop off into the second week of January, our international guests start to arrive, and we have reports of very solid bookings from operators for the months ahead.”
Ms Bennett said the feeling on the ground was backed by Tourism Research Australia’s recent findings (December 2014) that international visitation to the region was up by 12%.
“This has had a very positive flow on effect for the number of visitor nights, which increased from 630,000 for the year ending September 2013, to 709,000 for the year ending September 2014. This is an increase of 79,000 extra nights over the year.”
Ms Bennett said the international market was incredibly important to the region, making up around 40% of visitation. The value of the tourism industry to the region is around $600 million.
“Port Douglas and Daintree has always been a very attractive destination for international travellers and we are definitely continuing to see growth in this market.”
She hoped international visitor arrivals would continue to grow, as TPDD remained committed to growing this market.
“We had a fantastic start to the year with ATE14 being in Cairns. This brought a lot of opportunities for visiting agents to see and experience the area first hand.
“In June this year we also hosted more than 60 Dertour travel agents from Germany who visited the region on a familarisation and we were lucky enough to host the Australia Tourism Export Council’s (ATEC) major annual event – Inbound Up North in the region as well.”
According to the latest data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics, there were 6.6 million short-term visitor arrivals to Australia during the 12 months to June 30, 2014, an increase of 7.9% compared to
the previous year.
Longer term, international visitor arrivals are forecast to grow 4.5% annually through to 2022-23. Arrivals from China are forecast to grow to similar levels as New Zealand, with more than one million visitors annually.
For more information, please contact:
Tara Bennett, Executive Officer
Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree
Phone: 07 4099 4588
Issued by Tanya Snelling, Strategic PR, 0417 202 663