Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas
Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas

 The latest statistics for Queensland hotels show that while some sectors of the tourism industry are performing relatively well, others are struggling with the downturn in domestic travel and the impact of the Australian dollar, according to peak national body, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

The ABS’ Survey of Tourist Accommodation shows that occupancy rates for central Brisbane hotels were 74.0% in the first quarter, down just 0.4% points on the same period last year, despite the impact of the floods.

However, predominantly leisure destinations fared worse, with occupancy on the Gold Coast down 4.2% to 66.9% and Cairns occupancy at just 52.1%, despite a rise of 1.9% points for the period.

TTF Chief Executive John Lee said this is putting pressure on tourism operators.

“Queensland suffered from the perception that the state was either underwater or had been blown away in the first three months of 2011,” Lee said. “And this reduced holiday demand even in those places which were not directly affected.”

“Many leisure destinations in Queensland are also being affected by the strong dollar, as the number of Australians choosing to holiday in Indonesia, Fiji and Thailand continues to grow.

“The strong Australian dollar is also having an impact on the choices international visitors to Australia make while they’re here and that is affecting tourism operators in more remote areas, as people forego a trip in favour of other activities.

“The recent Queensland Budget allocated significant funding increases to Events Queensland, recognising that events drive visitation and economic activity, as well as smoothing out seasonal demand.

“A strong events calendar and effective marketing and promotion of tourism and events can help create interest in – and demand for – travel to regional Queensland,” Lee said.