Business travellers bring a huge boost to Queensland’s tourism
BUSINESS is booming for Queensland tourism.

Figures released yesterday by Tourism Research Australia
showed solid gains for Queensland in the year to June, but it was in the
business sector where the state really cashed in. A modest overall increase of
5.6 per cent in domestic visitors was boosted by a 28 per cent spike in the
lucrative ­business travel market. Those 4.43 million visitors injected
$2.2 billion into the state’s economy. The rise of the business traveller was
reflected across the country, although nowhere near as significantly in other
states as Queensland.

The result
provides further evidence of Queensland’s growing reputation as a serious
contender for serious travellers, headed by the G20 world leaders’ summit in
November.

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the same
factors that made Queensland Australia’s holiday playground also helped to lure
business travellers.“Queensland is a great place to holiday and do business,”
she said. “Our iconic destinations are stunning backdrops for business trips. I
may be biased but I think business trips are better in the Sunshine State than
the colder southern states.

Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and far north
Queensland were the strongest destinations for business travellers.

 Tourism and Events Queensland chief Leanne
Coddington said business travel was big business. “Queensland cemented its
reputation as a leading event destination when the state hosted the G20
leaders’ summit in Brisbane and finance ministers’ meeting in Cairns,” she
said. Ms Coddington said the state attracted more than 5000 business events a
year. The business boost helped offset a drop in holiday-makers. The number of
Australians taking Queensland holidays in the year to June fell by 6.5 per
cent, but the number of people visiting relatives in Queensland ­increased by
7.4 per cent. Mackay recorded the biggest increase in domestic visitor numbers,
jumping 28 per cent to 867,000, while the tropical far north was up
10.6 per cent and Queensland southern country was up 14.9 per cent