A survey released today has revealed that Cairns & Great Barrier Reef has regained the number one position as the favourite Australian holiday destination for Japanese visitors. Second to Cairns & Great Barrier Reef was the Gold Coast, with Sydney coming third.
While Japanese holiday visitors to Australia were up 12% for the year ending December 2010, Australia’s International Visitor Survey revealed that growth in numbers to Cairns & Great Barrier was 26%.
Rob Giason, CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, said; “The Japanese market has come back strongly, contrary to some predictions. This result shows the importance of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef to the Australian economy as a holiday destination for Japanese holiday visitors. Local tourism operators have complemented the aviation capacity increases provided by Jetstar, by rebuilding the market. The yen is strong and there is no better time for the Cairns Vision mission made up of senior tourism industry representatives, which is travelling to Japan this month.”
The other source market that showed strong growth in holiday visitation during 2010 is China. Australia-wide the increase was 33%, however Cairns & Great Barrier Reef welcomed 70,000 Chinese holiday visitors in 2010, an 85% increase on the previous year. China has climbed to third biggest holiday market for the region after Japan and the UK, with the USA a close fourth.
The market from New Zealand to Cairns & Great Barrier Reef increased by 4% in holiday visitor numbers and 27% in holiday visitor nights in 2010.
The UK holiday visitor numbers fell 14% and the USA dropped 9%. Although the North American and European markets are still in recovery mode, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef saw 10% more German holiday visitors and 8% more from Italy in 2010. The UK was surpassed by Japan as the region’s biggest single market in terms of holiday visitors but is still number one in holiday visitor nights. During 2010 UK holiday visitors spent 871,000 nights in the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region.
Overall the result for Cairns & Great Barrier Reef for the year was an increase of 6% in holiday visitation from international markets. This result is just ahead of the national result at 4% and the Queensland growth of 2%.