Townsville City Council is currently writing the Townsville Economic Development Strategy. A component of this strategy will include the Local Tourism Precincts Development Plan. This plan will develop a framework for the development of Townsville as a tourism destination and will help guide council and tourism stakeholders to grow Townsville as a more desirable tourism destination. This strategy will be segmented by three regions council have identified key as tourism regions. These regions include: Paluma, Northern Beaches, Rollingstone and Balgal Beach; Townsville CBD and Magnetic Island.
This strategy is due for completion in mid 2011.
Some facts about Townsville as a tourism destination:
Townsville’s tourism industry is strong and growing stronger, as it offers a diversity of tourism experiences in one region. In recent years, Townsville has experienced a greater growth in visitation than the Queensland average. Townsville’s main visitor market is holiday makers, followed by those on business trips and those visiting friends and family. The majority of visitors are self drive visitors, which is terrific for more remote tourist precincts in the Townsville region.
In 2009 Townsville recorded 757,000 domestic visitors and 142,000 international visitors. Over the past three years Townsville has experienced a growth in guest arrivals by 2.7%.
Townsville’s tourism industry directly employs 4,000 Queenslanders, contributes $366 million to the Queensland economy and generates $120 million annually as an export earner.
Tourist visitation is expected to grow over the next 10 years, primarily driven by rapid population growth (increasing VFR tourist visitation), business sector development (increasing corporate and business visitation), further development of community and leisure related infrastructure and increased exposure of the region (increasing holiday related visitation). Tourism will grow at a faster rate if Townsville’s population growth continues to boom, however visitation will also depend on a number of cyclical factors and macroeconomic factors, such as exchange rates and economic growth outcomes in other parts of Australia and the world where tourists may derive from.
Tourism in the CBD
Approximately 81% of travellers who visit the greater Townsville region visit Townsville’s CBD (Tropical Drive Survey, 2007). Townsville has the most diverse accommodation, dining and retail facilities in the region.
Tourism in northern Townsville
Approximately 17% of travellers who visit the greater Townsville region visit the Northern Beaches and Paluma region (Tropical Drive Survey, 2007). The precinct is well positioned on the Bruce Highway, attracting a significant amount of self-drive tourism travelling between Townsville and Cairns. Paluma is a well-established day trip destination and one of Townsville’s key tourism assets.
Tourism on Magnetic Island
Approximately 25% of travellers who visit the greater Townsville region visit Magnetic Island (Tropical Drive Survey, 2007). The island is only a short ferry trip from Townsville and offers some of the best natural assets in North Queensland. Magnetic Island is famous for its sustainable practices, and is listed as a Solar City, under the Australian Government Solar Cities project.
For further information
Thinking about starting a tourism business in Townsville? Try these helpful sources:
Are you a tourism operator in Townsville?
If you are a tourism operator in Townsville, and would like to know more about tourism networking events and opportunities for tourism businesses, please contact council's Economic Development Project Officer, at email@example.com and request to be added to the Townsville Tourism Operators Database.