Investing in the Future to drive Rockhampton as the visitation capital

Published on 03 August 2023

Zac Garven, Mayor Tony Williams, Grant Cassidy.jpg

Newly released figures from the National Visitor Survey show that tourism expenditure in the Rockhampton region is at an all time high, reporting $416 million, up almost 22% compared to the previous year.

Rockhampton is set to continue its position as the visitation capital of Central Queensland by investing in tourism, visitation and events in Council’s 2023/24 Budget.

The Budget builds on the region’s recent success hosting the Queensland Country Rugby Union Championships and the Queensland Touch Football Junior State Cup which brought almost 11,000 people to the region.

Rockhampton Mayor Tony Williams said Council was now focused on outdoing these results and are well underway accomplishing goals set out in the five-year Rockhampton Region Economic Action Plan.

“Tourism contributes more than $32 billion a year to the Australian economy, and we know the value and benefit that tourism, visitation and events bring to our economy,” Mayor Williams said.

“It supports local business operators, drives hospitality and the accommodation sector and creates jobs for local people.

“That’s why we are investing in visitation and events in our Budget because we recognise the added benefits it brings across the economy and our community.

“This is about attracting even more people to the region whether that’s for work, sporting events or a family holiday whilst ensuring local businesses and workers reap those rewards.

“Our tourism and events calendar has gone from strength to strength over the last five years and I’m confident with this investment and the great offerings we have here in the region, we won’t just meet our existing visitation numbers, but surpass them.”

Acting Executive Manager of Advance Rockhampton, Zac Garven said Advance Rockhampton would focus on attracting new events to the region, developing new tourism campaigns and working with local businesses in the accommodation, tourism and hospitality sectors to strengthen the Rockhampton region’s offerings.

“We’ve seen some really great outcomes over the past year, and we’re keen to build on those and make the next 12 months bigger and better,” Mr Garven said.

“One of our main focuses will be expanding our suite of tourism campaigns and targeting new opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

“We know there’s a real market for regional tourism with people looking for authentic experiences they just can’t get in metropolitan areas.

“That’s where we excel – whether it’s Nurim Circuit at sunrise, a stroll along our beautiful Fitzroy River in the evening, exploring the Rockhampton Museum of art, Rockhampton Zoo, Heritage Village, fishing or mountain biking, or just getting out and about across our region – Rockhampton delivers in spades.”

Managing Director of Empire and Edge Apartment Hotels, Grant Cassidy said that one of the biggest marketing tools for a hotel is promotion of its destination, and it is pleasing to see the importance Advance Rockhampton place on creating industry resources, promoting iconic destination experiences and establishing iconic events to drive economic development in our region.

“The multifaceted tourism campaigns that Advance Rockhampton continue to produce are having a positive influx on our leisure market, extending visitor nights and showing visitors a showcase of things to do in our region.

“With signature events like RockyNats, Beef Australia, River Festival, Pop-Up Polo and major sporting events spanning across our annual event calendar, we have a recurring influx of visitors to welcome to the region, Mr Cassidy said.

Council’s 2023/24 tourism, visitation and events budget directly aligns with the Rockhampton Region Economic Development Strategy and include:

  • Continuing to build the Explore Rockhampton brand offering
  • Improve Inclusivity for tourism and events
  • Increase the region’s visitor economy
  • Increase overseas visitation in Rockhampton
  • Build indigenous experiences

The Rockhampton Region (LGA) attracted the largest number of visitors in the Central Queensland region with 582,000 recorded for the year ending March 2023.





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Source: National Visitor Survey, year ending March 2023

To find out more about the Rockhampton Region Economic Development Strategy and the Rockhampton Regional Economic Action Plan, visit

To leverage from Advance Rockhampton’s tourism marketing campaigns and industry resources, visit

For travel inspiration in the Rockhampton region, follow Explore Rockhampton on Facebook, or visit