Heron Island is a popular island to visit within the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Heron Island is a popular island to visit within the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

NEW STATS: Record number of visitors to southern reef

RESEARCH to be released today shows a record number of domestic tourists visited the Southern Great Barrier Reef region in the last year.

The Federal Government's National Visitor Survey shows a record 2,218,000 visitors spent more than $1.6 billion in the Southern Great Barrier Reef between March 2018 - 2019.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said this represented nearly 10 per cent growth in visitor numbers year-on-year.

"We're committed to growing our tourism industry to create jobs in Gladstone," he said.

"Today's data shows our strategy to grow this sector is working.

"Tourism is of growing importance to our local economy. We'll work with tourism operators to market Gladstone and ensure these numbers continue to grow in the future."

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the latest data revealed domestic overnight spending was up 14.4 per cent across the state.

"Domestic tourism is our bread and butter," she said.

"The data released today shows our strategy to grow visitor numbers and expenditure from the southern states is working," she said.

Today's NVS data showed Australian travellers spent more than ever before in Queensland with a record $18.5 billion pumped into the state.

Queensland welcomed 24.6 million overnight visitors - up by 12.2 per cent - with the state's overall growth rate in visitor numbers above all other Australian states and territories.

Ms Jones said Queensland continued to hold a strong market share of domestic overnight spend in Australia at 24.8 per cent.

"All Queensland regions saw growth in expenditure and visitation on the three-year trend basis," she said.

Holiday visitation reached a record 9.5 million - up by 9.6 per cent year-on year while holiday spending in Queensland reached a record $8.2 billion - up 11.1 per cent.



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Residents were kept busy with a variety of activities this weekend.