Domestic tourists numbers up for Great Barrier Reef
MORE Australians are choosing to visit the Southern Great Barrier Reef driving growth and jobs in the region, according to Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson.
Ms Donaldson said the latest Tourism Research Australia figures showed the Southern Great Barrier Reef region was continuing to benefit from Queensland's growing tourism industry.
"The Southern Great Barrier Reef region welcomed two million Australian visitors in the year to March 2016, an increase of seven per cent, resulting in more than 7.7 million visitor nights," she said.
"The record number of domestic visitors is a great reflection of our growing reputation as a tourism destination."
Queensland welcomed a record 20.3 million domestic visitors in the year to March 2016 with domestic visitor expenditure increasing 5.5% to $14.6 billion.
Ms Donaldson said the income from tourists was benefiting local businesses.
"Tourists are not only coming to our region in record numbers, they are spending a record amount in the region," she said.
"Australian domestic visitors spent more than $947 million in our region over a 12-month period.
"This is great news for our local businesses and tourism operators who are seeing the benefits of a booming domestic tourism market."
Ms Donaldson said the Palaszczuk government was committed to growing the tourism industry in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region and throughout Queensland.
"The Palaszczuk government is committed to growing Queensland's share of the tourism market," she said.
"We are investing in the industry and seeing the benefits as more Australians are choosing to visit Queensland than ever before.
"We are determined to create more tourism jobs in our region.
She said they were working hard to grow our tourism offerings and bring the best events to the area.