Considering the Maranoa region's location on the main thoroughfares to western Queensland (Warrego Highway) and the tropics (Great Inland Way), long-haul tourists account for a significant proportion of visitors to the region.
Tourism and Events Queensland predicts that this sector will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate into the future, signalling a bright future for tourism operators in south west Queensland. The tourism sector is an important part of the regional economy and opportunities to expand visitor numbers and visitor expenditure can only add additional value to the regional economy.
In each of the five years leading up to 2018-19, Maranoa recorded 394,157 visitors, contributing to 1,012,960 visitor nights with an average length of stay of 15.5 nights for international and 3.5 nights for domestic visitors (Economy.ID, 2019). The significantly high average length of stay recorded for international visitors is likely due to the high FIFO workforce (in particular the short-term FIFO workers) which peaked in numbers of this period, and the back packer market seeking seasonal work on farms. Holiday visitors totalled approximately 34.1% of visitors for this period, whilst employment contributed to 44.1% of visitation (Economy.ID, 2019).