The Whitsundays has experienced the biggest growth of international visitors in all of state, according to the latest results from the International Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2013.Despite a very competitive and dynamic tourism environment, international visitors to the Whitsundays have increased by 10.4 per cent, equating to 17000 new visitors. Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) Chief Executive Officer Danial Rochford said the double digit growth has certainly been warmly welcomed but the results also highlight the challenges that lay ahead.
“WMDL will continue to maintain a strong marketing presence both nationally and internationally and I am confident that we are able to overcome these challenges,” Mr Rochford said.
“Our goal is to double visitor expenditure by 2020 and WMDL will continue to focus on incentivising longer stays and greater visitor expenditure in our region,” Mr Rochford said.
“The results have shown a 19 per cent increase from the Asian market and with our first dedicated China Strategy, WMDL has certainly put a lot of effort into increasing the Whitsundays’ presence in this market,
“There is no doubt that we can see major growth opportunities out of this market and the latest statistics have proven exactly that,” Mr Rochford said.
“While travellers from the UK and Germany continue to grow, we have experienced enormous growth from French travellers, increasing by 70 per cent,”
“Visitor numbers from Canada have also increased by 11 per cent, while visitors from North America have decreased by 5.3 per cent,” Mr Rochford said.
“We have certainly been helped by the devaluation of the Australian dollar as well as the increased investment in infrastructure by Government on all levels,”
“Stronger partnerships and the increase in marketing resources for the Whitsundays has also boosted international visitation and I would like to thank Tourism and Events Queensland and the Queensland Government for their continuous support and marketing efforts for our region,” Mr Rochford said.
“I would also like to thank our local tourism industry and particularly those that have partnered with us to actively support and promote our region,”
“I strongly believe that there is still considerable room for further growth and together with our partners, we will continue to market the Whitsundays to the world,” Mr Rochford said.
“Over the next two weeks, WMDL will be attending the International Media Marketplace, as well as the Australian Tourism Exchange, Australia’s biggest annual travel and tourism event, to promote the Whitsundays to both international media and travel trade,”
“We will also see a range of inbound tourism operators, wholesalers, high-calibre travel agents, as well as media guest touring the region in May to identify further opportunities for the Whitsundays and to experience our region first-hand,” Mr Rochford concluded.