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Aust's fastest growing regional spots for int'l tourists

Expedia data highlights the fastest growing regional towns for international demand

Expedia Group has released the top 10 fastest growing regional destinations for international demand, and six are located in New South Wales.


International demand for NSW as a whole grew 40 per cent year-on-year, and it was regional towns enjoying the finest fruits of this fast growing demand.


Newcastle, NSW


The Murray, along the border of NSW and Victoria, and the Hunter Valley topped the national list, both recording triple-digit year-on-year growth of 130 per cent and 105 per cent respectively.


Coming in fourth on the national list was Newcastle, recording an impressive 80 per cent year-on-year growth in international demand.


Joining them in fifth and seventh place, Wollongong and Coffs Harbour each grew 75 and 70 per cent in the same period.


Last, but certainly not least, Port Macquarie was the final NSW regional town to make the nation’s fastest growing list at number nine (60 per cent).


The state’s capital also continued to experience strong growth, with Sydney enjoying a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in international demand.


Jamie Griego, Director of Market Management at Expedia Group, said the strong demand from international travellers in these regional towns was reflective of positive growth across the state and told an encouraging story of economic benefit for local hoteliers.


“Importantly, the value of this demand to regional NSW destinations tells a more positive story still. In fact, Expedia Group data shows that the average daily hotel rate (ADR) paid by international visitors have increased, while cancellations have dropped.”


“Online travel agents, such as Expedia Group, have an important role to play in contributing to the local Australian tourism economy by helping local hotels attract and convert high-value travellers across 35 languages from more than 75 counties.”


Tourism rival Queensland had the second highest representation on Expedia Group’s top 10 fastest growing regional destinations list with two townships making the cut. Coming in third on the list was the central coastal township of Mackay, which experienced a significant 90 per cent year-on-year increase, followed not far behind by Townsville in eighth spot (60 per cent).


Victoria and Gippsland also secured an entry each with Gippsland in sixth, reporting 75 per cent demand growth, and West Australia’s Coral Coast (60 per cent) rounding out the final list:


Expedia Group: The Fastest Growing Regional Destinations in Australia *


  1. The Murray, NSW (130%)

  2. Hunter Valley, NSW (105%)

  3. Mackay, QLD (90%)

  4. Newcastle, NSW (80%)

  5. Wollongong, NSW (75%)

  6. Gippsland, VIC (75%)

  7. Coffs Harbour, NSW (70%)

  8. Townsville, QLD (60%)

  9. Port Macquarie, NSW (60%)

  10. Coral Coast, WA (60%)


Source: Based on Expedia Group last 12 months’ hotel demand data among international travellers to Australia from January 2018 to December 2018


Published: 24 March 2019

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