International visitors on comeback trail

By Jennifer Kent

It may come as no surprise but visitors coming to Australia from abroad have gone up by 1844% on this time last year (March2021/March2022) according to Tourism Australia’s most recent data.

With the borders reopening earlier this year, international visitors are lining up to enjoy the Hinterland.

Glass House Mountains Ecolodge owner Keith Murray said his overseas booking numbers were up 100% on this time last year.

“To give you an idea of numbers, we had 10 international guests during April and our third quarter will see a good increase in overseas bookings,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray said the increase would also be a boost to the local economy.

“International guests eat local, fuel up local, visit local sights and entertainment venues…it’s great for our local businesses,” he said.

Paul Orwin, owner of The Country House at Hunchy Montville, which was recently named ‘Most Romantic Getaway 2022’ in the UK’s Luxury BnB magazine was also thrilled to be welcoming international guests back, with the award a boost for his business in the UK market.

“We are receiving bookings from the UK and Europe again so all this makes us confident that international travellers and overseas travel industry experts are looking at our property here in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and they like what they see,” he said.

New figures show there were 162,000 international visitor arrivals in March 2022 – down 81% on March 2019, but up 1844% relative to March 2021.

Main image: Eco Lodge owner Keith Murray with Time Vriese and Lea Van Eysden who have travelled from Utrecht in the Netherlands