Record visitor spending achieved in Ipswich

12 May 2023

Ipswich has seen a strong recovery in tourism spend with a record $321 million in visitor spending, as travellers discover our beautiful heritage city has much to offer.

The latest Tourism Research Australia (TRA) figures for 2022 show the Ipswich tourism sector has recovered from the COVID pandemic to a record expenditure level beating the previous highest figure - $289 million in 2019.

The city might not have beachside resorts, but Ipswich hangs its hat on historic charm, world class outdoor activities and exceptional food and beverage offerings.

A strong recovery was seen in the corporate travel market during 2022, following the lifting of travel restrictions, but the latest data shows continued population growth has driven a boom with 86.5 per cent of overnight visitors to Ipswich travelling for the purpose of leisure or to visit friends and relatives.

Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said it is encouraging to see numbers rising as visitors become intrigued with the country meets city lifestyle Ipswich offers.

“The emergence of farm stays like Pocket Retreats (Pine Mountain) and Tallavalley Farm B&B (Tallegalla) are providing unique places to stay for visitors looking to take a short break in Ipswich,” Cr Jonic said.

“We have seen a 62 per cent increase in Overnight Trips and an 18 per cent increase in the number of people visiting Ipswich, with 1.6 million total domestic visitors recorded.

“In 2019, overnight visitors stayed an average of 2.8 nights. This has grown to 4.3 in 2022, driving a 54.4 per cent increase in domestic visitor nights compared to pre-COVID 2019 figures, which is the strongest result seen by any council in South East Queensland.”

The return of full capacity major events in 2022 such as CMC Rocks QLD and The Winternationals, along with sporting tournaments like the Softball QLD Open Women’s State Championships (held in September) have been a strong driver of overnight visitation growth.  Visitors attending these events usually travel as a group and need to stay for multiple nights.

The strong growth figures are also testament to a focus on promoting overnight visitation as part of council’s destination marketing activities.

Stories promoting overnight stays in Ipswich are featured in the Ipswich Visitor Guide, the Discover Ipswich website, social media competitions and on TV shows such as Queensland Weekender.

Strong overnight visitation has a positive impact on the economy with visitors spending money with accommodation providers, attractions, tour operators, restaurants and local shops.

“Not only is Ipswich a safe and high-tech city, council is seeing more innovative and fun tourist activities being developed for the whole family,” Cr Jonic said.

When visiting Ipswich, people have a diverse range of activities to experience. Visitors can feed and pet llamas, hike to the top of the tallest mountain peak in the Brisbane Region, or indulge in luxurious experiences like hot air balloon rides and gourmet picnics or stay in charming country retreats.

Ipswich is set to continue this growth throughout 2023 with multiple events being held such as Planes, Trains and Autos, which was held across the Labour Day long weekend and included round 3 of the Australian Superbikes Championship. These activities and events saw a surge of visitors to local hotels.

“Council is not surprised by the increase of visitors, our hidden gem, in Brisbane’s backyard has been discovered,” Cr Jonic said.

For all the best things to see and do in Ipswich visit: Discover Ipswich