Thursday 11 September 2008

International visitors stay longer and spend more in Brisbane

Despite a three per cent decline, Brisbane still enjoyed the largest share of international visitors to Queensland in the year ended June 2008 and they're staying longer and spending more.

Brisbane welcomed 897,000 international guests according to figures released by Tourism Minister Desley Boyle – 48,000 more than any other Queensland region - but really triumphed on length of stay and dollars spent.

The Queensland capital achieved 15.1 million international visitor nights and a total expenditure of $1.35 billion - $254 million than the $1.1 billion spent by global guests in Brisbane in the year to December 2007.

John Aitken, Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane Marketing, said he was particularly pleased to see the increase in visiting friends and relatives or in tourism terms, VFR, buoyed by international immigration and a growing student market.

"Brisbane Marketing identified this market as being one of our most important more than a year ago and has been focusing on educating residents, many of whom were not born in Brisbane or even Australia, about their city and inspiring them to show it off to their guests," Mr Aitken said.

"They are becoming our staunchest advocates and generate powerful word-of-mouth commendation to reinforce the Brisbane 'buzz' and encourage lucrative repeat visitation.

"We are currently developing more VFR campaigns to build on this momentum."

Brisbane Marketing is currently gearing up for its summer tourism campaign, which will entice visitors with an outstanding events calendar.

Starting with the Rugby League World Cup in November, Brisbane will also play host to the First Cricket Test at our world-famous Gabba, The Australian Hardcourt Championships at the new State Tennis Centre, the State Library's Game On exhibition and GoMA's Contemporary Australia blockbuster 'Optimism' – a fitting title according to the CEO.

"Brisbane offers the visitor a youthful and dynamic city experience located between rainforest to the west and beautiful beaches to the east," John Aitken said, referring to Brisbane's lush Scenic Rim and the glorious islands of Moreton Bay.

"However we have noted the downturn in holidaymakers and know we still have work to do to spread this message and change the perceptions of Brisbane as just a business or gateway destination.

"We are working closely with Tourism Queensland and industry in identifying key market segmentation to determine the direction of our future product development and communications campaigns," Mr Aitken said.

"We're in it for long term and will not be resting on our laurels."


- Total international visitors: 897,000, down 3%
Total international visitor nights: 15.1 million, up 24%
- Average length of stay: 16.8 nights, up 3.7 nights
- International holiday visitors: 494,000, down 6%
- International visiting friends or relatives: 240,000, up 3%
- International Business visitors: 112,000, down 4%
- Total international expenditure: $1,354 million, up 30%
- Spend per visitor: $1,505, up 34%
- Spend per night: $86, up 2%

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