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Upswing in domestic visitors to Sunshine State

By Greg Bell

Thinking about investing in commercial property in Surfers Paradise? It could be a good time to start investigating your options. Tourism has long been an important element in the Surfers Paradise commercial property market. Hotels and resorts play host to millions of international and domestic visitors each year in southeast Queensland, and findings from Tourism Research Australia shows that domestic demand for accommodation could be on the rise.

Tourism Research Australia's National Visitor Survey showed the number of domestic overnight trips Australians enjoyed over the 12 months to January rose past the 80 million mark, which could well be a positive sign that tourism in southeast Queensland is set for another upswing. While the number of overnight holiday trips evened out slightly over the year – down 1 per cent – travelling to visit friends and family rose to new heights. The report reveals that trips this category increased 11 per cent over 2014. 

In terms of destination state figures, the number of overnight trips rose 6 per cent over the year to 18,552 in Queensland. The number of nights spent visiting the state also increased, climbing 8 per cent. The state is second only behind New South Wales on both counts. 

"Further decreases in the value of the Australian dollar and lower petrol prices will also help encourage growth in the domestic holiday sector," said Spiro Kavadias from Tourism Research Australia in a 11 March statement. 

Families enjoy Surfers Paradise

Nonetheless, a Roy Morgan Research survey found that Queensland is still the number one holiday choice among families. Forty-six per cent of families said they would want to holiday in the Sunshine State within the next two years, with outdoor activities being top of the agenda. The survey found that Surfers Paradise is especially attractive to the family-orientated holiday maker, with 15 per cent of respondents reporting that they would like to visit.

Melbourne was the most popular holiday destination for families with 25 per cent wanting to travel there, but it has vastly different attractions. The golden beaches, glorious sunshine and theme parks are tourism calling cards of Surfers Paradise, and the rising number of domestic overnight trips nationwide could see a big proportion of families in the mix. Given that Tourism Research Australia also recorded a 4 per cent increase in the number of visitors in Queensland over the year to September 2014, this presents some fantastic opportunities for commercial investors, particularly in the accommodation sector. 

"Knowing what Australian families look for in a holiday spot and how their needs and expectations differ from those of other travellers allows destination marketers, tourism operators and travel agents keen to reach this lucrative market to tailor their communication strategies accordingly," said Angela Smith, group account director at Roy Morgan Research in a March 5 release. 

If you want to dip your toes into the accommodation market in Surfers Paradise, especially those geared towards the family market, contact the commercial real estate professionals at Ray White. 

Rising tide of Surfers Paradise accommodation

At the same time, BIS Shrapnel has shone an encouraging light on Surfers Paradise commercial property. Accommodation building is expected to perform strongly over the next few years, according to Tim Hibbert from BIS Shrapnel's building and construction unit. The number of accommodation starts were expected to triple in 2014/2015 and maintain this impressive form into 2015/2016. 

While the hotel sector took a big hit during the Global Financial Crisis, Mr Hibbert pointed to a few promising signs for investment activity. The booming construction industry, low Australian dollar and overseas interest are all likely to contribute – and tourism hotspots like Surfers Paradise are expected to reap the benefits. 

Investing in commercial property in Surfers Paradise can be an exciting game, so for a suitable strategy, have a talk with the team at Ray White for useful tips, insight and local knowledge.

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