Great Keppel Island is just one of the major tourist attractions in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region.
Great Keppel Island is just one of the major tourist attractions in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region. @The Beach Real Estate

SGBR tourism hits record breaking 7.7M visitor high

THE Capricorn Coast tourism industry has solidified itself as one of Australia's best, with new data showing the region broke visitor records over a 12-month period.

The National Visitor Survey data, released by Tourism Events Queensland, revealed last week that overnight expenditure figures for the Southern Great Barrier Reef Region increased by 8.5 per cent.

Data from the survey, collected from June 2017 to June 2018, shows an increase of 11.8 per cent in the number of visitors to the region - 2.1 million for that period.

The figure, which smashed the national average by nearly five percentage points, has been attributed to the region's strong growth in domestic tourism.

Despite the region being made up of three areas (Capricorn Coast, Gladstone and Bundaberg), 50 per cent of these numbers are a result of visits to the Capricorn region

 

Mary Carroll
Mary Carroll Kerry Kerr

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said the results were a testament to local businesses.

"We are the biggest region within that Southern Great Barrier Reef destination," she said.

"We are the only destination brand with the Great Barrier Reef in its name.

"We feel incredibly proud of our entire local and regional tourism industry."

Ms Carroll said great service and experiences have a major impact on visitation numbers in the region.

 

The new lagoon at the Yeppoon Foreshore attracts plenty of visitors on opening day with the temperature around 26 degrees..
The new lagoon at the Yeppoon Foreshore attracts plenty of visitors on opening day with the temperature around 26 degrees.. Shayla Bulloch

Key outcomes for the Southern Great Barrier Reef region:

  • Visitor nights in the region increased by 10.7 per cent to 7.7 million.
  • 4.7 per cent increase in the number of visitors (719,000) coming to the region for a holiday
  • Intrastate visitation increased by 8.5 per cent, or a total of 135,000 visitors.

"That is attributed to every single tourism operator, every single cafe and restaurant, taxi driver and retail outlet who are all providing exceptional service," she said.

"All of those things contribute to a visitor having an exceptional experience in our region.

"The Capricorn region is the second highest in the state, amongst 13 regions, in the average best of Queensland score."

Snorkelling at Middle Island: Check out the coral and fish around the old Middle Island Observatory near Great Keppel Island.

Ms Carroll said that Beef Australia 2018 played a part in the increase in business figures, but made it clear that business only made up a third of the number of visitors to the region.

"Our interstate market in the holiday sector has grown significantly, by about 28 per cent," she said.

"While some of that is attributed to major events like Beef Australia, it is really promising to see that we have seen growth across all sectors of the tourism industry."