All roads lead to Queensland this winter

Brisbane Southbank. | Newsreel
Queensland's winter sunshine is attracting record numbers these school holidays. | Photo: Jui Chi Chan. (IStock)

One in five Australians plan to holiday in Queensland this winter.

New research from Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) shows that, as the nation begins its rolling four-week school holiday period, 21 percent of Aussies plan to visit the Sunshine state over that period.

TEQ CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said New South Wales residents lead the way, with more than 20 per cent signalling an intent to visit Queensland in the colder months, an eight percent rise on last year.

Ms O’Callaghan said 17 percent of Victorian residents said they intended to visit, in-line with 2023’s levels.

“Queenslanders are also intending to take at least one night away within the state over winter,” she said.

Ms O’Callaghan said the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Tropical North Queensland & Cairns, and Whitsundays led the way as the most intended regions for interstate visitors, with all 13 tourism regions featuring on consideration lists across the country.

The new data comes at the beginning of the extended four-week period of winter school holidays, with Queensland’s break kicking off last weekend and New South Wales’ concluding July 21.

Ms O’Callaghan said there was a strong preference for drive trips these holidays, following 7.8 million Queensland visitors who drove to their holiday destination last year.

“This trend is expected to continue, with two thirds (66 percent) of trips this holiday period anticipated to involve car travel – more than any other mode of transport.”

She said, nationwide, 23 percent of Australians intended to take a two-to-seven-night multi-stop road trip over the next year and eight percent intended to take a road trip that lasts even longer.

“Queensland’s tourism operators can also anticipate a seasonal influx of international travellers from North America, UK, Europe and North Asia, with June to August being their most popular months to travel.

“It follows the launch of Tourism and Events Queensland’s biggest campaign in a decade, Queensland is Bluey’s World for real life,  inspired by the globally popular children’s show Bluey, that aims to attract visitors to experience the Queensland lifestyle depicted on the show,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

She said as part of the campaign, tourism operators had loaded more than 700 deals to for the winter period.

State Tourism Minister Michael Healy said the latest data showed occupancy rates at the peak school holiday period were at or just below last year’s levels, which was promising given the current financial climate.

“Last year we estimated the school holiday period to be worth around $1.7 billion, making it a key time in the tourism calendar,” he said.

Minister Healy said contributing to the potential visitor numbers were 84 TEQ-supported events staged over the winter period, expected to inject $315 million into the Queensland economy.

Some key events include: