Visitor survey data from Tourism Research Australia is a dog’s breakfast. That is the most apt description I can think of following a series of delays and revisions over recent years and data resources scattered incompletely in various locations.
I don’t know what happened to the old DestinationQ database which was an excellent resource to download and analyse data. TRA don’t post the full regional data from the survey in their excel file and you have to go to Tourism & Events Qld where partial regional data and commentary from the NVS is posted in the Domestic Tourism Snapshot
Pete has also posted comments on these exceptional numbers on the NVS at Conus: TNQ once again with stunning domestic tourism results.
Is a 17.6% year on year growth in domestic overnight holidaymakers just too good to be true? Is it even feasible in a year where domestic passenger growth through Cairns Airport declined to be barely positive over the year. No, these are not the same data. Domestic air statistics includes international and local Cairns passengers. Domestic overnight visitors would include arrivals by road and cruise. I still wouldn’t expect such significant divergence.
I can think of reasons which could go some way to explain this trend but doubt it would be sufficient without issues related to the National Visitor Survey: Methodology
If I am reading the table right the two million overnight domestic visitors to TNQ translates to +/- 7% within a 95% confidence interval. A simple approach could be to just draw in a trend channel between the peaks and troughs over time. It will be somewhere in there.
Meanwhile Kate Jones has claimed full credit for her tourism events strategy: Aussies flocking to Queensland according to new data
There is really nothing exceptional in the Queensland holiday numbers which are broadly consistent with national averages. Table 11 from TRA is interesting which appears to be quarterly rather than annual. The growth story here is business overnight travel in Queensland and WA. Queensland up 19.2% on the previous June quarter in 2017 for overnight visitors and an astounding 59.9% on visitor nights. Maybe the corporate boxes at events were very full? On those numbers Kate should probably be holding aloft a lump of coal rather than her events calendar.
Scott Morrison offers Kate Jones his lump of coal