A global tourism sentiment report analysing data from over 500,000 sources and more than 15 million online conversations about Townsville North Queensland has revealed the region has an overwhelmingly positive perception as a travel destination, outscoring key competitors and similar sized destinations across the world.
The Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI) report has been conducted by Destination Think for hundreds of destinations across the globe to understand the quality of the visitor experience as well as what elements of the destination are the biggest attractors for tourism.
Townsville received a Tourism Sentiment Score of 63 (ranges from -100 to 100) demonstrating an overwhelmingly positive perception and visitor experience. This was a 2 point increase on the previous year, and one of the highest scores in comparison to key competitor regions and across similar sized destinations across the globe.
The Tourism Sentiment Index report allows a year on year comparison and also a comparison to similar destinations from across the national and world. This recent report looks at data between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 (YOY comparison to 2018).
What does this mean for Townsville North Queensland?
The positive results are an encouraging sign that the region’s focus on nature-based experiences are resonating positively with visitors, and that prior to COVID-19 Townsville North Queensland recorded growth in destination awareness and improvements in the visitor experience. Additionally, the report confirms that our natural landscapes, outdoor activities, wildlife interactions and beaches are amongst the best in the world.
When compared to similar destinations from across the globe, Townsville outweighed in positive sentiment for activities like sailing, wildlife, hiking and fishing, and had one of the most diverse tourism offerings across the full destination set.
This is a great base for our region to build upon and assist our COVID-19 recovery, as recent research suggests that outdoor experiences and nature interactions will be the key types of experiences that travellers seek post COVID-19.
What we're doing about it?
We have an opportunity to leverage this appetite from potential visitors to not only promote the world-class natural attractions we have on offer but continue building our case for further investment and support towards our region’s ecotourism market.
Townsville Enterprise released a tourism strategy last year which identified new ecotourism experiences as a key priority for the industry. Projects like the Paluma to Wallaman Falls Trail, Magnetic Island and regional walking trails, Wongaloo Conservation Park in the Burdekin, and Dungeness marine access will be key to realising this vision.
This also includes increased marketing for new eco attractions like the recently launched Museum of Underwater Art which will continue to put the region on the map and support our tourism industry and broader economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
We have a small window of opportunity to expedite North Queensland’s tourism rebuild by leveraging our outdoor attractions, building awareness of the destination and growing our product offering particularly in areas of hiking and snorkelling.