It is Southeast Queensland's newly crowned billion-dollar gem in tourism and the Moreton Bay area shows no signs of slowing down.
The latest report on 'Value of Tourism' commissioned by Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) shows that visitation expenditure has almost doubled since the start of the organisation in 2015 – hitting $1.137 billion.
MBRIT chief executive Shane Newcombe says new attractions, new tourism operators, more accommodation options and a year-long calendar of events have made the region a must-visit destination and put the area on the map for domestic and international visitors.
“They say numbers don’t lie, and these numbers tell us that not only do an increasing number of people want to visit, but they want to stay increasingly longer and spend increasingly more,” Mr Newcombe says.
“We recorded 4.5 million visitors, that’s a 55 per cent increase since MBRIT started. We recorded $1.37 billion in visitor spending, up from $670 million in 2015. And the average length of stay has skyrocketed from one night to 4.5 nights per person.
“These figures have surpassed our wildest ambitions and eclipsed the aspirational targets we’d been set; but we’re not resting on our laurels, we’re already strategising about how 2020 can be our biggest year yet.
“I know other tourism regions are struggling in the current economy, but clearly our focus on delivering high-quality events at a lower cost is absolutely paying off and we are planning to keep powering forward.”
Mr Newcombe says it’s the unique festivals and events program that have boosted drive tourism for the region.
“A decade ago, it’s fair to say there wasn’t much on offer. Today, Moreton Bay can boast events like the Woodford Folk Festival, Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival, Jetty 2 Jetty Fun Run and Redcliffe KiteFest, and attractions like Bee Gees Way along with new tourism operators and experiences finding a home in Moreton Bay.”
Mayor Allan Sutherland says the tourism industry is now estimated to support more than 7350 local jobs.
“MBRIT is one of the best investments we’ve ever made.,” Cr Sutherland says.
“This report shows that for every dollar council’s invested in tourism, it’s generated $717 in economic activity for businesses, tourism operators and accommodation providers.
“Another astounding stat is that in just three years, the number of tourism businesses in the region has surged from a smidge over 1000 to more than 3000 today.”
Cr Sutherland says the investment is present across the region in new accommodations and venues and has helped boost their local economies.
“You look around and there’s new hotels and venues in Bribie Island, North Lakes, Eatons Hill and Redcliffe; new cafes and restaurants along the water and throughout our hinterland.
“The existing guys say they’ve never been busier. It’s brilliant. And it means more jobs for more locals.
“I commend MBRIT for the huge amount of work they’ve done with local businesses to build our regional identity, create an impressive digital presence and brand, and also strategically promote the attractions and products we have here to the right audience. It’s clearly paying off.”
The report also shows that people are travelling to see what is on offer in the Moreton Bay area, not only from all over the country but also the world.
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