International visitors increase for Sunshine Coast

As the first of the new Qantas flights are scheduled to arrive at Sunshine Coast Airport, international visitor arrival figures suggest the new service is well timed to capture a rising wave of global interest in the Sunshine Coast.

New international data released today by Tourism Research Australia not only shows an increase in the number of international visitors flocking to the Sunshine Coast but there is also a surge in visitor spending.

The region recorded $246.5 million in visitor expenditure, an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous year. In addition, there was a 3.5 percent increase in international visitors totalling 311,000.

“This shows the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry continues to grow from strength to strength,” Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford said.

“Today’s data just goes to show that the campaigns we are rolling out with trade and partners in key markets continues to resonate with positive results - 71,000 visitors from New Zealand visiting last year and resulting in an increase of 10.6 percent, 61,000 UK visitors up 5.5 percent, 23,000 visitors from the US increasing by 17.3 percent and 31,000 visitors from Asia rising by 21.8 percent.


“The fact that we’re luring more visitors who are spending more while they’re here is great news for the Sunshine Coast.”


The data is released as new daily direct Qantas services from Sydney are about to commence and will provide a major boost for international tourism to the Sunshine Coast.

The new service, which will start from 1 April, will leave Sydney at 10:30am, which is perfectly timed to connect with international flights from Asia, Europe, America and New Zealand, which arrive earlier in the morning.

This is the second Qantas direct service to the Sunshine Coast and the extra departure times will have a significant impact on growing leisure, business and conference travel to the Sunshine Coast.

“Inbound travellers want convenience,” Mr Latchford said. “They want to be able to leave London, Los Angeles, Singapore or Wellington knowing that they can travel on just the one ticket, without the need to change airlines. For many travellers, and especially conference groups, such seamless travel can be a game changer.

“The confidence that Qantas have shown in our market is very encouraging. Since they returned to the Sunshine Coast we have seen our tourism numbers grow considerably, particularly business travel. The new service will add to our attraction as a premium destination for international leisure travellers.

“Visit Sunshine Coast will be attending Australia’s largest international travel trade expo, Australian Tourism Exchange, in Perth next month and the combination of this new service and the construction of the new runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport will be very positive news that our operators can deliver to current and potential clients. We will work very closely with the Airport to grow demand for new routes in the lead up to the inauguration of the new runway at the end of next year.”

International visitation to the Sunshine Coast for year ending December 2018

  • Visitor Expenditure: $246.5 million increase 4.8 percent
  • Visitors: 311,000 increase 3.6 percent and comprising 235,000 holiday visitors increase 2.4 percent and 68,000 visiting friends and relatives increase of 11.3 percent.
  • Average length of stay 8.9 nights
  • New Zealand: 71,000 visitors increase 10.6 percent
  • U.K: 61,000 visitors increase 5.5 percent
  • Asia: 31,000 visitors increase 21.8 percent
  • Germany: 30,000 decrease 11.9 percent
  • US: 23,000 visitors increase 17.3 percent
  • France: 13,000 visitors increase 43%