WELCOME TREND: The majority of visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef is coming from the UK and Germany.
WELCOME TREND: The majority of visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef is coming from the UK and Germany.

Why international travellers can't get enough of Bundy

INTERNATIONAL tourists can't seem to get enough of our sunny patch of the world.

Figures released by Tourism Research Australia show the Southern Great Barrier Reef region recorded 6.1 per cent growth in visitors compared to last year, taking the total to 151,000.

The International Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2017 showed positive growth across all categories, including a whopping 26.9 per cent increase in visitor nights to 2.6 million. The average length of stay also grew to 17.4 nights.

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager Katherine Reid said the majority of visitors was coming from the UK and Germany.

"It's wonderful to see, as much of our international work has been focused on Europe and the UK,” she said.

All up, 29,000 visitors hailed from the UK representing a 8.2 per cent increase, and 25,000 from Germany, representing an 18.8 per cent increase.

Not only are they staying longer, but they are also spending more, with the region recording a 2.3 per cent growth in international visitor expenditure, reaching $92.2 million.

"We are extremely pleased with these results out from Tourism Research Australia. Our work, in partnership with Gladstone and Capricorn under the destination marketing partnership of Southern Great Barrier Reef, has been extremely focused on trade development with our industry,” Ms Reid said.

"For the last two years we have contracted an experienced international trade mentor for our key trade ready operators; we have completed successful, dedicated trade missions into Germany, hosted a variety of targeted familiarisations into regions for key inbound trade agents, and have also concentrated on strengthening these important relationships for our destination.

"It's certainly paying off. Our proactive tourism industry should be congratulated.”

The Bundaberg region is well situated this year to capitalise on this positive momentum with the upcoming visit from the Prince of Wales set to generate plenty of publicity across the country and internationally, further cementing our region's position as a must-do for visitors.

The good news isn't just for our region, either.

As a country, Australia is performing well.

Latest figures show the nation reached a new high of $41.3 billion for international visitor spending, an increase of six per cent on the previous year.

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