Tourism numbers surge in Queensland’s central west

Published: August 18, 2021
grey nomads in outback queensland

A detailed investigation into the tourism industry in central-western Queensland has found the sector is up to 30% stronger than previously believed.

The Remote Area Planning and Development Board has delivered the second Central Western Queensland Data Collection and Analysis for the tourism industry.

The study, undertaken by tourism industry specialists Stafford Strategy found the value of the visitor economy is much stronger in all council areas of the central west than state government statistics suggested.

“For some regions, the difference between government statistics what we were able to find was up to 30% under-reported,” chief researcher Albert Stafford said.

Under this study, all local government areas in the RAPAD region are counted and their data is collected and checked against local sources.

“This means we have a much better picture of exactly how many people are travelling through the region, why they are here, how many nights they are staying and how much they are spending,” Mr Stafford said. “The study looked at the larger centres like Longreach Barcaldine and Winton, but also collected data on communities often overlooked by state or national surveys, like Windorah, Boulia and Bedourie.”

The study has also shed light on the impact of Covid restrictions in 2020.

“As expected, the figures for 2020 did drop but not much, the surprise was that visitation rose strongly in the September to December period, there was also a significant growth in the family market,” Mr Stafford said.

Alan Smith, who owns adventure tour company Outback Aussie Tours, told Queensland Country Life that it was the busiest he had seen Outback tourism.

“People inside Queensland are wanting to stay in Queensland, and it’s allowing the Outback to sink into the hearts and minds of Australian tourists,” he said. “It’s already a guarantee that, next year, Outback tourism is going to be even bigger.”

Longreach Council executive officer Simon Kuttner said the data collection was ‘invaluable’ and gave local government more confidence when making investment decisions.

“This project lets us take control of our own data, region by region, and paint a far more accurate picture of one of our most significant growth industries,” Mr Kuttner said.

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Ron
5 months ago

I went to outback Queensland every year but will not be returning with current government in Brisbane

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