The Whitsundays, located on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and is a World Heritage listed site. The Whitsundays boasts key icons such as Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach and offers an array of water sports, beach and leisure activities. The Whitsundays are an internationally recognised destination and a must-see destination for any visitor to Queensland.
The Whitsunday region attracts more than one million visitors each year and is increasingly sought after by international visitors to Australia. Tourism in the Whitsundays has been on an upward trajectory over the past five years with growth in visitation increasing at an average rate of 2.9% per annum. In 2019, international visitors accounted for one third of nights spent in the Whitsunday tourism region.
Whitsundays Tourism Growth 2015 - 2019
- All visitation - 2.9%
- International visitation - 3.1%
- Domestic visitation - 7.9%
- Overnight stays - 5.8%
The Whitsundays is serviced by two domestic airports - Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island) and Whitsundays Coast Airport (Proserpine) - linking the region to the major centres of Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns. Both airports have recorded growth in passenger movements over the past five years, increasing on average by 1.8% and 10.4% per annum respectively.
A range of accommodation can be found in the Whitsundays with the most significant being holiday homes, hotels and backpacker hostels. Together these three property types account for three-quarters of nights spent in the region. Hotels and serviced apartments have experienced strong growth over the past year, underpinned by improved demand whilst a number of island resorts still remain closed for renovation. Once operational again, these resorts will boost a significant number of superb leading accommodation establishments that will be marketed worldwide.
The Whitsundays: HMSA Historical Trading Performance 2016 to 2018
|2017||70.9% (-6.3%)||$302 (-10.9%)||$214 (-16.5%)|
|2018||75.0% (5.8%)||$296 (-1.9%)||$222 (3.7%)|
Continued investment into the Whitsundays is expected with major resort infrastructure and refurbishment projects well underway against a backdrop of strong tourism visitation and a growing international tourism base. Offshore investors particularly hold the region in high regard.