Overseas visitor numbers to the Gold Coast down, but spending soars

The number of international visitors to the Gold Coast has fallen, but those that are coming here are spending up big.

Figures from the International Visitor Survey released on Wednesday show overseas visitor numbers fell 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to March to 1 million.

That compares to the 2.7 million overseas visitors across the whole of Queensland which was down just 0.3 per cent.


The Gold Coast has seen a huge drop in visitors from China but it remains the city’s number one international market.

Chinese tourist numbers were down 17.1 per cent to 251,000 while people visiting from New Zealand was up 9 per cent to 221,000.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista says the fall in Chinese visitors is consistent with global trends over the last 12 months.

“However, expenditure from our Chinese visitors remains high,” Ms Battista said.

“Tour groups continue to outpace free and independent high-value Chinese travellers who seek more experiential interactions with our slice of paradise.”

Japan was the Gold Coast’s next biggest market with 70,000 in the last year, up 12 per cent, followed by the UK with 63,000 and the US with 38,000.

The number of nights being spent on the Gold Coast by international tourists has remained steady at 9.5 nights.

But spending by international visitors continues to soar as they fork out more for accommodation and other tourist attractions.

Total spending hit $1.4 billion in the last year, up 3.8 per cent.

“International expenditure continues to outperform visitor growth, which is consistent with our strategic focus to attract high-yield tourists who tend to spend more,” Ms Battista said.

“Gold Coast’s international visitor market accounts for 25 per cent of our total overnight expenditure, so targeting higher value travellers will provide a stronger return for our tourism dollar.”