Reeling in the tourists

TOP SPOT: A family enjoying South Molle Island.
TOP SPOT: A family enjoying South Molle Island. Tourism and Events Queensland

A RECORD number of international visitors stepped into the Whitsundays last year.

Figures released yesterday revealed in the year to December 21, 2016, 248,000 international visitors came to the Whitsundays - the highest number over a 12 month period. The huge figure represents an increase of 19.2% on the previous year, making it the biggest percentage increase of any Queensland destination. Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the region was focused on continuing to sustain growth in its international markets.

"When you look at our percentage growth across all our international markets, we are in a very strong and robust position,” he said.

In four of the Whitsundays top five source markets, double-digit growth was evident, with the UK up 14% on the same period last year, New Zealand up 19.1%, the USA up 29.4% and China up 62.3%. Germany, however, was up by 6.7% year-on-year.

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