Regional business travel surges 29% year on year from January to September 2023

Business travel is making a return to regional locations across Australia according to new analysis of 2023 business travel bookings, with a 29% year on year increase recorded over the period of January to September 2023.

The analysis, by Flight Centre Travel Group’s travel management company Corporate Traveller, found the growth was largely attributed to the fast-growing mining industry.

Nine of the top 10 regional travel routes over this period are in Queensland, with some regional routes growing by more than 60%.

Corporate Traveller’s Australian-based Global Managing Director, Tom Walley, expects these routes will continue to grow alongside the growth of the mining industry, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia.  

“Queensland boasts a wide range of economic activities, including a thriving mining sector and booming tourism industry,” he said.

“The Sunshine State has a major agriculture sector, being the major producer of sugar cane, cotton, and tropical fruits. Additionally, there are more than 473,000 small businesses in Queensland, contributing around $117 billion to the state’s economy and making it a popular destination among business travellers.

“With the Palaszczuk Government announcing a $245 million investment into the industry for growth, jobs will boom, and so will business travel to mining regions. Overall, business travellers are adapting to changing circumstances and seizing opportunities in regions with robust economic activities, and we expect this growth trend to continue indefinitely.”

The route with the largest growth, at 69%, is Brisbane-Mackay, followed closely by Mackay-Brisbane, at 64%.

Growth was also seen in trips from Perth to Karratha, with a 62% surge this year.

Additional routes that experienced substantial growth include Brisbane to Emerald (39%), Brisbane to Cairns (22%), Brisbane to Moranbah (22%), Perth to Kalgoorlie (21%), and Brisbane to Townsville (4%). Each of these destinations offer a flourishing mining sector.

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