Tourism is booming in the Bundaberg Region with recently released visitation figures showcasing a record $361 million spend in domestic overnight expenditure during the past year.
The Tourism Research Australia data, which covers the year ending March 2023, highlights the local result as an impressive 22% increase in just three months and an all-time record within the region, with visitor numbers remaining steady and visitor nights increasing by 7.6%.
It comes as a record $1.7 billion was spent by more than 2.3 million visitors in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region – an increase of 31.9% on the year ending 2022 expenditure and a 38.7% growth on 2019.
Bundaberg Tourism CEO Katherine Reid said tourism played a significant role in the local economy.
“Tourism is a major contributor to Bundaberg’s regional economy, and these figures show that it’s an industry that will continue to have major economic benefits for our community in the future as our accommodation infrastructure catches up with demand, as presented by researchers AEC at the Bundaberg Business Breakfast,” she said.
“We know that in the five years prior to COVID, Bundaberg was recording an average annual growth rate of 7.5% in visitation and have ambitiously set forward Overnight Visitor Expenditure growth rates of 10.5% per year to reach our aspirational 2032 targets for the region.
“The only way we will achieve this, is as a unified region, focused on growing industry, inspiring visitors and delivering social, environmental and economic benefits for community.”
The Capricorn Region continued to drive considerable results for the SGBR’s visitor economy, with 1,246,000 visitors staying 4,429,000 nights and spending more than $915 million in the past year.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said it was the strong alliance between the neighbouring regions that helped make the Southern Great Barrier Reef a destination of choice.
“For more than a decade, the strategic marketing alliance between the Regional Tourism Organisations of Bundaberg, Gladstone and Capricorn, the communities they support and Tourism and Events Queensland has developed the Southern Great Barrier Reef into a destination of choice for Australian and international travellers,” she said.
“Consumer research conducted in key markets across Australia by Tourism and Events Queensland continues to demonstrate that the Southern Great Barrier Reef is one of the most trusted and well-known destination brands in Queensland.”