Overseas visitors spend big and stay longer
A 40.8% increase in American tourists, a 95% increase in visitor nights by Germans, and continued growth in the New Zealand market saw the Sunshine Coast record a 7.1% increase in international visitor nights to 2.9 million visitor nights in the year ending March 2016.
The International Visitor Survey (IVS) statistics from Tourism Research Australia also revealed that holiday nights spent on the Sunshine Coast were up 29% to 1.6 million, and average length of stay increased 24.2% to 7.7 nights per visit.
International tourism expenditure increased 17.8% to $236 million, close to the highpoint in international expenditure reached in March 2010.
A feature of the latest IVS figures was the growth in the American market. With the “Bindi factor” (the success of Bindi Irwin in America’s Dancing with the Stars) reaching a crescendo in late 2015, the spotlight on the Sunshine Coast translated into a growth rate in US visitors of 40.8%, compared to the Queensland average growth rate of 19% for the same period.