One in five Australians look to Queensland for a winter break

Minister for Tourism and Sport The Honourable Michael Healy
  • 21% of Australians intend to visit Queensland between 1 June and 31 August for a winter holiday
  • Interstate visitors, particularly from New South Wales, driving higher rate
  • Queensland tourism operators set to be further boosted by seasonal flux of international arrivals from Europe, North America, and North Asia

Ahead of a bumper four-week period of school holidays, Queensland is the most popular choice for Australians planning a winter break, with 21 per cent intending to visit the state between June and July, according to research by Tourism and Events Queensland.

New South Wales residents have been a key driver behind the rise, as 21 per cent signalled an intent to visit Queensland in the colder months, an 8 percentage point rise when compared to last year. 17 per cent of Victorian residents also said they intend to visit, in-line with 2023’s levels.

Queenslanders are also intending to take at least one night away within the state over winter, at similar levels of intent to last year.

The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Tropical North Queensland & Cairns, and Whitsundays lead the way as the most intended regions for interstate visitors, with all 13 tourism regions featuring on consideration lists across the country.

The new data comes ahead of the extended four-week period of winter school holidays, with Queensland’s break kicking off this weekend and New South Wales’ concluding 21 July.

There is also a strong preference for drive trips these holidays, following 7.8 million Queensland visitors who drove to their holiday destination last year. This trend is expected to continue, with two thirds (66 per cent) of trips this holiday period anticipated to involve car travel – more than any other mode of transport.

Nationwide, 23 per cent of Australians intend to take a 2-to-7-night multi-stop road trip over the next year and 8 per cent intend to take a road trip that lasts even longer.

Queensland’s tourism operators can also anticipate a seasonal influx of international travellers from North America, UK, Europe and North Asia, with June to August being their most popular months to travel.

It follows the launch of Tourism and Events Queensland’s biggest campaign in a decade, ‘Queensland is Bluey’s World for real life’, inspired by the globally popular children’s show Bluey, that aims to attract visitors to experience the Queensland lifestyle depicted on the show.

As part of the campaign, tourism operators have loaded more than 700 deals to Queensland.com which families can snap up for the winter period.

As stated by Tourism Minister Michael Healy:

“Queensland has always been a holiday favourite and one in five Australian travellers tell us they want a holiday here this winter.

“What’s unique this year, is that interstate travellers are showing more intent to visit our more regional tourism areas, particularly Fraser Coast, Southern Great Barrier Reef and Southern Queensland Country, which is great news for regional visitor economies.”

“According to the latest data from STR, the knock-on impact is that occupancy rates at the peak school holiday period are at or just below last year’s levels, which is promising given the current financial climate. Last year we estimated the school holiday period to be worth around $1.7 billion OVE, making it a key time in the tourism calendar.”

“Contributing to the potential visitor numbers are 84 Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) supported events staged over the winter period, expected to inject $315 million into the Queensland economy.”

“Our packed calendar of events this winter ranges from a celebration of Aussie film at the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, to sampling the best of Brisbane’s thriving food bowl at Scenic Rim’s Winter Harvest Festival and showpiece sports events such as Gold Coast Marathon and State of Origin.”

As stated by Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Patricia O’Callaghan:

It’s no secret that Queensland does winter differently, with many of the state’s best experiences exclusive to the colder months. From natural phenomena like the whale migration to showpiece cultural events throughout the state, it’s the perfect time to visit.”

“Whilst the intention to visit from interstate travellers is encouraging, we understand the rising cost of living is impacting families everywhere, making covering the cost of that dream holiday break harder than ever.”

That’s why we’ve launched our biggest tourism campaign in more than a decade, ‘Queensland is Bluey’s world for real life’, and partnered with tourism operators statewide to publish 700+ of their best family deals on Queensland.com. We anticipate this will help visitors stretch their dollars further whilst supporting tourism operators themselves, many of which are family-run businesses.”

“We’re also excited to be welcoming our seasonal influx of visitors from the northern hemisphere, as they look to explore the sunshine state in their peak holiday season from June through August.”

/Public Release. View in full here.