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Domestic visitors are staying longer and spending more in the Whitsundays

Visitors from around Australia are staying longer and spending more in the Whitsundays, according to new figures released June 20. 

The National Visitor Statistics for the year ending March 31, 2017, showed that while the actual number of visitors to the Whitsundays was slightly down on the same period last year (by 2.9 per cent), visitor expenditure was up by 8.6 per cent for the 12 months, at $538.5m. 

The average length of stay was also up on the previous 12 months, with domestic holidaymakers staying an average 1.1 nights longer than previously, at 5.9 nights’ average per person. 

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the figures were encouraging, despite overall visitor numbers being slightly down. 

“In terms of the local economy and our tourism industry, it’s the amount of money that holidaymakers spend while they are here and their length of stay – which are often related – which make the difference,” he said. 

“Just over one night longer per person is a significant increase and means that our overall nights for the year for holidaymakers has increased by 18.1 per cent, up to 1.8m nights per year. 

“While, overall, visitors might be down slightly for the 12-month period, these are very good results for the region and augur well for the future. If holidaymakers are staying longer and spending more in the Whitsundays, that has to be a good thing!” 

In total, 477,000 people visited the Whitsundays in the year ending March 31, 2017, with 254,000 of those coming from within Queensland itself and 223,000 coming from elsewhere in Australia.