Australia’s Gold Coast welcomed a record one million-plus tourists in the 12 months to September 2016, increasing 16.2 per cent from the previous 12-month period, according to the Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey.
The visitor surge also brought along a record increase in international visitor expenditure, which grew 15 per cent to A$1.3 billion (US$969.5 million), according to Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter.
International holiday visitors accounted for the bulk of the result (807,000), ahead of those visiting friends and relatives (141,000). The number of international business visitors also grew substantially by 21.9 per cent to 34,000.
China accounted for the largest number of international visitors, increasing by 38.4 per cent to 295,000 people, ahead of New Zealand (195,000), the UK (70,000), Japan (56,000) and the US (38,000).
“Chinese visitors to the Gold Coast accounted for 27 per cent of all visitors to Australia and remains the number one destination for this market in Queensland,” Winter said.
He added that large incentives such as Infinitus China, which will send more than 8,000 delegates to Gold Coast in May 2018, is expected to generate more than A$50 million for the city.