Tourism in Action: A word from Brett Fraser (March)

The latest results from Tourism Research Australia were released this month, with the numbers showing that Queensland holds the position as the nation’s leading domestic holiday market, with 28.1 per cent market share of the country’s holiday expenditure in 2023. Overall, Queensland operators once again benefited from Australians choosing to holiday in our state, with total domestic overnight visitor expenditure climbing to $28.3 billion in 2023.

The figures also show that Queensland outperformed the national average in recovering international overnight visitor expenditure – reaching an impressive 94.4 per cent of 2019 spending levels. The data shows clearly that last year, international guests stayed longer and spent more than they did in 2019.

While the results are positive for our state’s tourism community, we are realistic about the challenges that lie ahead. The impacts from consecutive severe weather events that rocked Tropical North Queensland and the South East at the beginning of the year are still being felt through cancelled bookings and damaged infrastructure. Coupled with these challenges, operators are contending with increased global competition, cost-of-living pressures, workforce and housing stresses, and a sharp return to outbound international travel.

This month, I met with several government representatives, including the Hon Michael Healy MP, Minister for Tourism and Sport, the Hon Leanne Linard MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and David Crisafulli, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Tourism. I discussed with each of them the key concerns and challenges faced by industry, including the need for greater investment in destination marketing and on restoring aviation capacity, and the importance of reducing red and green tape. We discussed workforce and housing pressures and the need to invest more heavily in tourism products that meet evolving consumer demand.

While I am conscious of the challenges that lie before us, I am confident that with continued collaboration between industry and government, as well as continued investment in industry and the sustained demand for travel, Queensland tourism will continue to succeed.

An air of celebration was certainly felt in Darwin earlier this month when the best of our state’s tourism gathered for the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. Not only did our state walk away with the lion’s share of awards, taking out 14 accolades – the most of any state or territory, but we also boasted the largest delegation. 71 Queenslanders made the trip to the Northern Territory, and I was incredibly moved to be part of the celebrations. With nominations for the 2024 Queensland Tourism Awards now open, I encourage you to nominate for our state’s highest tourism accolade, so that we can continue celebrating industry excellence. 

As we enter the Easter season, I hope you experience a busy and successful holiday period.

Kind regards, 

Brett Fraser