Bill Cummings presented his annual review of the region’s economy to the Cairns Chamber of Commerce on 24th July 2018:
Growth of the region’s tourism sector with earnings now over $3bn was strongly checked, 2008 to 2014, by the GFC and extremely high Australian dollar causing a retreat of over 20%. But this has been followed by a strong recovery back to record levels following the drop in the dollar. However, there is evidence that the strong upward movement has tended to slow over the past 12 months.
Let me warn everyone however, not to read too much into short term movements in the International Visitor Survey and the National Visitor Survey.
They are based on sample surveys and at regional level, statistical variance can lead to them not accurately reflecting short-term movements.
Airport passengers that account for the bulk of visitors can be more reliable. Over the year, international terminal traffic is up; domestic terminal traffic growth has slowed.
The problem I have is that there are always more questions than answers ……