Tourism & Events Queensland has released data showing that overnight expenditure in Southern Queensland country set a new record for the year ending March 2017.

Expenditure was up 42.9% to a record high of $773 million, driven by longer stays and visitors spending more per night.

Reasons to visit the region have remained largely constant over the past ten years. The majority of visitors attend for holidays to visit friends and family, most of them travelling from within Queensland for a stay between two and four days long.

They are followed in number by interstate travellers from New South Wales and Victoria, and finally by international tourists.

Of all the tourists, those coming internationally tend to spend the most money, at almost $1500 per trip. In contrast, domestic overnight visitors spent just under $350 per trip and domestic day visitors spent just over $100. This is likely due to longer stay times of international travellers.

Manager of Economic Development and Tourism Scott Templeman said that tourism is a very high priority for the Southern Downs Regional Council, and that a methodical approach to regional promotion is being undertaken to keep the region’s brands strong.

“Since 2006, the last 6 months have seen numbers peak with overnight stays, with an increase of over 15%. Tourism operators across the region are likely to have experienced the same growth,” said local tourism operator Cherrabah Resort.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie says the data indicates that the Southern Downs tourism sector continues to grow and attract tourists.

“Our region has so much to offer visitors, beginning with our epic weekend of events kicking off with Snowflakes in Stanthorpe on June 30. I urge all residents to contribute to the ongoing success of our tourism sector by enjoying our winter festivals and events, and inviting friends and family to our region,” said Dobie.

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