Record tourist numbers reveal boon for Moreton Bay economy

Published 31 May 2019

A record 3.6 million visitors travelled to Moreton Bay last year, injecting close to $1 billion into the region’s economy, new figures reveal.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Lifestyle and Amenity Spokesperson Councillor Peter Flannery unveiled the latest tourism figures compiled by the region’s destination marketing organisation, Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism, and EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism.

“The data shows the number of visitors coming to our region each year has increased by a whopping 24 per cent since 2015 to 3.6 million people per annum,” Cr Flannery said.

“To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the city of Berlin or the country of Puerto Rico now visiting the region every year.

“Those visitors in turn spent close to $1 billion on local tourism operators, businesses and cafes, supporting more than 13,000 jobs.

The approximately $1 billion spend, is an increase of 30 per cent in just three years, and bucks the trend of other regions in South-East which have experienced a drop in tourism expenditure.

In the same three-year span, the number of tourism businesses in the region has increased from just over 1,000 to more than 3,000 today.

“We’re experiencing what I think is a golden era in terms of tourism growth in Moreton Bay,” Cr Flannery said.

The latest figures also show visitors are also staying longer too, with the length of stay for international visitors now an average of four nights compared to just an average of one night three years ago.

“For the first time ever, Moreton Bay is leapfrogging other areas around South-East Queensland and throughout the country as visitor hotspot, and the figures show no signs of us slowing down.”

Over the next few years, visitor numbers are expected to jump to 4.5 million per annum, while the projected additional nights stayed will hit the 1.4 million mark by 2025.

Cr Flannery said the record numbers came down to three key factors: investment by council, MBRIT and business; major events; and the increased promotion of the region.

“For every dollar council invested in tourism for 2017, it generated $609 in economic activity for businesses, tourism operators and accommodation providers.

“You look around and you’ve got major events taking place almost every weekend; huge venues at Eatons Hill, Sandstone Point and Redcliffe; and new cafes and restaurants throughout parts of Caboolture, the hinterland and along the coast.”

Statistical Snapshot:

Total visitors (2015): 2.9 million

  • Total visitors (2018): 3.6 million
  • Projected visitors (2022/2023): 4.2 million
  • Visitor Average Length of Stay (International) (2015): One night
  • Visitor Average Length of Stay (International) (2018): Four nights
  • Visitor expenditure (2015): $699.6 million
  • Visitor expenditure (2018): $914.7 million
  • Projected visitor expenditure (2022/2023): $1.34 billion
  • Total direct and indirect jobs from tourism: 13,300
  • Total tourism businesses operating in the region (2015): 1,032
  • Total tourism businesses operating in the region (2018): 3,007
  • Expected additional visitors by 2025 (2015): 436,039
  • Expected additional visitors by 2025 (2018): 932,992
  • Return on investment for each dollar council spends: $609