In a recent post, regarding new ABS data on the State or Territory in which short-term (i.e. for less than one year) international visitors to Australia spent the most time, Mark Beath asks: “Surely Victoria can’t really be about to overtake Queensland?” As Mark hints, this does appear to be likely, based on the historical trend (see chart above). The increase in Victoria’s share and decrease in Queensland’s share of international visitors is likely due to several factors:
- the improved perception worldwide of Victoria as a tourist destination;
- the trend increase in international student numbers over the last decade and Victoria capturing a larger share of international students than Queensland; and
- members of the Australian diaspora who are now resident overseas returning home for a holiday to visit family and friends (as it would be expected a greater proportion of the diaspora would be from Victoria than Queensland due to the relative population sizes).
It would be useful for Tourism and Events Queensland to investigate the relative importance of these different factors to determine if there is something wrong with our tourism offerings or marketing. I’ve previously made critical comments on this issue: Qld should look to Victoria for tips on tourism promotion?
Queensland could learn from how Victoria has positioned itself as a sophisticated, cosmopolitan destination – e.g. the Play Melbourne campaign. While Queensland remains more popular than Victoria with backpackers (see chart below), I’m concerned it is losing its relative attractiveness to other tourists, as Queensland is only slightly ahead of Victoria in total visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation.