VISITOR INCREASE: Backpackers at Bargara enjoying time in the sun.
VISITOR INCREASE: Backpackers at Bargara enjoying time in the sun. Max Fleet BUN251215BEA9

Tourists spend almost $100m

BIG-SPENDING international tourists are outlaying almost $100 million in our region as savvy tourism operators target them like never before.

Visitors from Britain, America, Germany and France are choosing to holiday in our region in record numbers with Tourism Research Australia figures showing an increase in international tourists.

Up to 150,000 international visitors enjoyed the Southern Great Barrier Reef region in the year ending June 2017, an increase of 10% from the same period the year before.

That equates to an extra 13,000 people a year.

Of this number, 116,000 were visiting for holidays, which was a positive growth of 14% for the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager Katherine Reid said BNBT had been actively supporting operators to understand international distribution and have greater visibility in the western hemisphere markets.

In the same period, the destination boasts total visitor nights of 2.5 million, with a total of $98.7 million spent in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region by international visitors.

"The recent Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney (May) saw Bundaberg's biggest representation, with five Bundaberg tourism businesses working alongside the Southern Great Barrier Reef team to meet with more than 120 agents from our key international source markets,” Ms Reid said.

"This is only the beginning for our region, with continued collaboration of our industry, the delivery of exceptional visitor experiences and the ongoing development of quality tourism product and experiences that suit our target markets, Bundaberg's visitation numbers are set to keep rising.”

Ms Reid said the positive statistics showed the ongoing collaboration between the Bundaberg, Gladstone and Capricorn regions, coupled with the strong support from Tourism and Events Queensland was paying off for the region's economy.

With the strong development happening in the area, including the $16 million CBD upgrade and the sinking of ex-HMAS Tobruk as a world-class dive site, and the enduring popularity of the turtles at Mon Repos, pundits are predicting our tourism numbers are set to surge in the future.



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