'HUGE!' Ipswich's spike in tourists to boost city by $65m
THE record 2.6 million visitors who travelled to Ipswich this year proves the region's hidden gems are being discovered, Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said.
In the previous 12 months from September, an extra 542,000 people travelled to the region according to Tourism Research Australia's National and International Visitor Survey.
Speaking from the buzzing Orion Lagoon at Springfield Central on Wednesday, an energetic Cr Antoniolli said the data revealed a positive future for the region.
"We're very happy about the visitor numbers to Ipswich - a huge increase, over half-a-million increase in visitor numbers to our city and we are beside ourselves," he said.
Cr Antoniolli cited the families splashing in the lagoon as proof people were coming to experience the region's sights.
"Quite literally tens of thousands of people visit this venue every month, and that's also been one of the reasons why we've seen a jump in our visitor numbers."
The tourism jump - including a 9 per cent increase in international visitors and a 12 per cent increase in visitor nights - is expected to have generated $65 million for the economy.
"We know that the people who live here are doing their best to promote it to their friends and relatives to come to Ipswich, that's been a great boost as well," he said.
Data showed a 28 per cent increase in overnight visitors from Brisbane and a 36 per cent jump in the number of day trips from the capital.
Mark Giliomee and Vanessa Nystrom travelled from Middle Park to swim at Orion Lagoon.
Ms Nystrom chose the Springfield Central pool before Southbank due to its quality and ease of access.
"I have some family that live in Camira and they told me how awesome this spot was," she said.
"We came here to try something different, my brother-in-law used to play music at this cafe so I knew how to get here, easy parking."
Cr Antoniolli disagreed there would be future issues in promoting Ipswich and building on the tourism figures.
"I don't necessarily think there are any challenges, it's just keeping up the momentum, preaching what we have here to offer to the people of southeast Queensland and beyond," he said.
"It's a great place to come and visit."