Kids eagerly wait for the ribbon to be cut for the official opening of the Keppel Kraken in Yeppoon.
Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin
Kids eagerly wait for the ribbon to be cut for the official opening of the Keppel Kraken in Yeppoon. Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

International tourists spend up the big money in our region

INTERNATIONAL tourists have spent a whopping $20 million more than last year in our region, compared to the year before.

The latest data from the Queensland Government has revealed while our tourist numbers have remained around the same, they have spent $43 million against $23 million last year.

The visitor numbers hung on the 78,000 mark and the visitor nights grew by 21,000. Each tourist spends on average $553 while they are here.

A number of new facilities have opened in the Capricorn region over the last year including the revitalisation of the Fitzroy riverbank in Rockhampton with the water play area, the Boathouse restaurant and the playground. Also in Rockhampton, Kershaw Gardens has been re-opened to the tune of $16 million with another new playground and revitalised monorail, water play area and more.

At the beach, the Yeppoon Lagoon has opened with the already existing Keppel Kraken as part of the Yeppoon Foreshore plan.

John Lever of the Koorana Crocodile Farm said he wasn't surprised to hear the jump in tourism spend and that he had seen a rise.

"We did get a portion of that... not a large portion but some of it,” he said.

"We are very happy with the increased numbers... it is definitely noticeable.

"That's a reflection on the exchange rate too, people see it as a bargain deal...more bang for their buck.”

Over the festive season, Mr Lever said he hasn't seen a big drop off of numbers like they normally get before and after Christmas.

"Since Christmas is over we have had lots and lots of families,” he said.

This data relates specifically to international tourists and Mr Lever said they mainly see the internationals come in with campervans.

At the farm they have a tour guides that speaks French and German, which helps with those internationals.

Most of the tourists he sees are German and British people.

"There wouldn't be a day goes by we don't have one or two campervans here.... and they all stay at the same place and talk to each other.” he said.