TRAVELLERS from across Australia are increasingly choosing the Gold Coast as their holiday destination, with new figures showing the city welcomed an additional 225,000 domestic visitors in 2015.
This follows a surge in international tourism spending on the Gold Coast, which jumped 20 per cent to $1.23 billion in 2015, according to Tourism Research Australia.
Together, domestic and international visitor expenditure on the Gold Coast reached more than $4.9 billion, up 6 per cent from a year before.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the Gold Coast has experienced a revival over the last 12 months,” says Gold Coast Tourism CEO, Martin Winter.
“The city is in a period of physical and cultural transformation, driven by significant tourism investment and a vibrant new generation keen to embrace and share the city’s iconic coastal lifestyle and playful image.
“We are achieving record-breaking international visitor expenditure, and today’s results show a 7 per cent growth in domestic overnight visitors and 19 per cent growth in daytrips to the Gold Coast.”
In 2015, there were 3.7 million overnight visitors to the Gold Coast and 8.2 million daytrips to the city.
The Gold Coast welcomed more overnight visitors from core capital city markets of Brisbane (up 7 per cent), Sydney (up 10 per cent) and Melbourne (up 4 per cent).
“It’s our lifestyle that continues to draw visitors from across Australia and indeed the world,” says Winter.
“In addition to our well established attractions, today, you can go stand up paddle boarding or join a yoga class on the beach, grab a great coffee from a funky café and be at your desk by 9am.
“There aren’t too many cities in Australia where that’s possible.”
Meanwhile, over the past three years, international visitor expenditure has jumped 47 per cent, according to Winter.
This is largely due to a surge in US visitors (up 25 per cent to 35,000), South Korea visitors (up 22 per cent to 24,000) and Chinese visitors, which most notably saw an extra 40,000 visitors headed for the Gold Coast totalling 242,000 extra Chinese tourists.
“While we’ve seen significant growth in international visitors, the Australian market remains a critical ingredient for the continued success of our industry,” says Winter.